Leading construction and fit-out company Gilbert-Ash today announced its results for 2020. The company credits its strong performing team, the continued trust of its clients and the success of its sector diversification strategy as key to the growth with profits doubling in 2020 to £10.9million from £5.6million in 2019. 

This was along with an increase in turnover to £176.2 million, up by 8 percent from
£163million the previous year. The results reflect strong sector growth for Gilbert-Ash over the twelve months as well as the completion of a broad portfolio of successful construction projects across a growing range of sectors including arts and culture, workplace, hotels and leisure and education.  

Commenting on what was a record year for Gilbert-Ash with the highest profit in the company’s history and second highest turnover, Managing Director, Ray Hutchinson said: “These strong financial results are testament to the outstanding work of our people and the trust and continued support of our clients and supply chain partners.

“In what was an incredibly challenging year for all, we are proud to have continued to maintain both healthy turnover and profit-levels and to be in a position to support the people who work for us. Coupled with a healthy pipeline, this puts us on a strong track for the future.”

The company paid an exceptional dividend of £9m this year, reflecting its achievements in becoming a more profitable company over the last five years, strengthening its balance sheet while realising its diversification strategy.

Gilbert-Ash also officially opened its new £5 million headquarters at Boucher Place in Belfast

in June 2020.

Ray Hutchinson added: “We have made great progress in implementing our five-year strategy, the effects of which are now becoming visible. Gilbert-Ash’s ‘As One’ ethos ensures a culture of respect and togetherness, which underpins our relationships with our colleagues and clients through to our supply chain network and wider public.”

Projects completed in 2020 included the prestigious £24m Royal College of Music project in London, the £26m Premier Inn in Shoreditch, London, the £18m St Edward’s School Quad Development in Oxford, the £42m Canterbury Christ Church University Building in Kent and the £12m Central Foundation Boys School project in London. 

Ray continued: “The highly demanding situation with the coronavirus did not deter us from pushing forward with our client projects while prioritising the health and safety of our team and supply chain partners.  I am very proud of our entire team – we really showed our mettle and resilience this last year as well as strength of our relationships with clients.”

All staff received a bonus to reflect their performance and commitment in 2020.  Last June, Gilbert-Ash joined a small number of UK businesses to reach Investors in People Gold Accreditation with assessors highlighting the commitment from the top of the company to develop and embed its ‘As One’ culture.

The Gilbert-Ash Board also reaffirmed a healthy forecast for 2021, envisaging sales growth across all sectors.

In recent months, the company announced it has started working on a number of new projects including a highly prestigious £35.5 million National Portrait Gallery development project with Gilbert-Ash leading the refurbishment in London, £16million commercial office redevelopment of Kodak House, former London headquarters of the one-time camera giant and a £22million office refurbishment at 7-10 Old Park Lane in Mayfair, London.

Gilbert-Ash also recently commenced works on a £36 million project that will see the creation of a new 181 room Hub by Premier Inn in the London borough of Islington.   The venture by the UK’s largest hospitality company, Whitbread, is the latest project in a
long-standing relationship with Gilbert-Ash. 

Outside of London, the company is working on the historic re-development of a former hat factory in Manchester into a modern and stylish, 145-bedroom Moxy Hotel for KE Hotels.

It has also commenced work on a new 500-bedroom student hotel in the heart of Glasgow.

The £50 million design and build of The Student Hotel (TSH) is part of a masterplan in the Merchant City area.

Gilbert-Ash is also currently working on key phases of Canalside in Woking, a residential and retail scheme that is part of the 74-acre Sheerwater Regeneration Masterplan.

The company has been growing its significant track record in the education sector including a £30million project to design and construct the University of Brighton Business School, an £18m student accommodation scheme entitled Croft Gardens at Kings College, Cambridge and projects with Trinity College Oxford and Emmanuel College Cambridge.

In Belfast, Gilbert-Ash recently completed the landmark Merchant Square building for PwC, a £14million project which created 200,000 sq ft of Grade A office space over nine floors. The offices accommodate 3,000 employees in the heart of Belfast’s business district and adjacent to the City Hall.   

This month, Europe’s first eco-mosque, built by Gilbert-Ash, has been nominated for the 2021 Stirling Prize Award.  Cambridge Central Mosque is one of six projects to be selected from the 54 2021 RIBA National Award winners and was designed by Marks Barfield Architects.  RIBA’s Stirling Prize has been awarded annually, with the exception of last year, since 1996 to buildings deemed to be the most significant of the year for the evolution of architecture and the built environment.  This year’s winner will be announced on October 14.

Gilbert-Ash has a unique approach to construction, fit-out and refurbishment based on the belief that great buildings come about through hard work, inspired innovation and genuine collaboration.