Commenting on the company’s results for 2017, CEO Mark Lawrence commented:
I am pleased to report that TClarke is in an excellent position. We are focused on the future and have a clear strategy to deliver on our five key strategic markets. We are confident that this will enable us to continue to drive improving returns for our shareholders, as is demonstrated by our setting ourselves the medium term target to increase underlying operating margin to 3%.
Underlying this, TClarke shows strong and improving cash generation, rigorous risk control, excellent revenue visibility, a balanced quality order book and improving profitability. This financial and strategic strength is allowing us to invest for future growth in our markets, driven by investments in infrastructure and the digital world.”
Building our specialisms and sectors
In 2017, we have had considerable success across our markets. Our Transport team’s selection by Manchester Airport Group brings us a major airport contract, our Design and Build team continues its excellent performance and growth trajectory, our Mission Critical team’s work on data centres and the complex Selfridges project has been highly valued and our TClarke Intelligent Buildings team has won major data, fire and alarm projects. Manufacturing has had its most successful year ever with the opening of our multi-skilled, purpose-designed operation at Stansted and Healthcare continues with its world class partnerships, winning projects under the NHS’s new P22 framework agreements. Our Residential business again won a series of awards and expanded its footprint and our successful in-house specialist FM business has also won new partnerships.
It is also important to note that we have been extremely successful in winning and delivering research and laboratory projects across every region of our business. Once again, this shows how our business can adapt as demand and opportunity shifts in the marketplace.
Going forward, we are reorganising our go-to market strategy with five new market offerings: Infrastructure, M&E Contracting, Residential & Accommodation, Technologies and FM & Frameworks. This will give us an improved focus on growth and a better prospect of valuable metrics going forward - both for the business and our shareholders to see and measure progress.
Deepening our partnerships
TClarke is not unusual in talking about partnership as being key to success, but 2017 shone a light on the range and variety of those relationships and their value to us. Michael Bloomberg in London followed the actions of the local teams at David Wilson Homes in Glasgow, Rolls-Royce’s team in the North East and the engineering team at the Royal Cornwall Hospital – they all took the time to commend our people and their work.
These testimonials and commendations are of direct value to our shareholders because they signal the continued and growing preference for our brand. Brand reputation and the expressed demand and encouragement from our clients in 2017 has led us to open new offices in Portishead, Birmingham and Dumfries, and immediately won major new projects in geographic areas that were new to us.
The ongoing success of targeted tendering
2017’s order book was a record one for scale – but more importantly for quality. We can define quality broadly as meaning the kind of projects where clients value our services appropriately and where our people want to be engaged upon because they are professionally rewarding. Targeted tendering continued to prove successful for TClarke in 2017 as we have consciously matched our skills and resource to quality opportunities, with the purpose of delivering value.
Sustaining our key advantage – our people
As I have travelled around our business and projects this year, my strongest single impression has been of a pride in our people – many of whom have built their whole careers with us and some of whom are just starting out. The relative scale and quality of our new apprentice intake massively exceeds the best industry targets.
In 2017, our Training Academy was launched. It is focused on developing the best career paths for our people and has senior level commitment within TClarke and will be a key feature of our business going forward. In 2017, we saw TClarke people achieving degrees and professional qualifications, winning awards and moving into new disciplines within our business. We saw previous winners and finalists of our Apprentice of the Year award growing into leadership roles. All of these achievements have given me a considerable sense of pride and satisfaction in what we are building at TClarke.
A record year for safety
In concluding, I want to spotlight our safety record in 2017. We have an absolute accident reporting regime, in which every accident however small, was recorded, we also achieved an 17% reduction in the annual accident rate, against the backdrop of a record order book. This didn’t happen by accident! It has been the result of constant vigilance and focus across our business and the work of our dedicated nationwide safety operation. This work sits at the heart of the TClarke Way.
This article is for information only - for the full preliminary results statement go to the investor section of this website