According to new research by Creditsafe, eight of the 10 most searched for UK companies on its system during 2015 operate in the construction industry or are specialist suppliers to the sector.
Five of these firms directly work in property construction and development, while three are specialist retailers servicing the industry. Two of the most searched companies last year were construction firms that called in the administrators (GB Solutions Limited and Fairhurst Ward Abbotts).
In terms of growth, the construction sector has experienced a dramatic upturn in 2015. On average, 1,840 new construction companies open per month in the UK, compared to 862 in France and 230 in Belgium. In Germany, the number of construction companies fell by an average of 25 per month.
SPIE UK, which provides energy, safety and environmentally focused solutions across multi-technical and support services was the UK’s most searched company of 2015. Searches spiked following the IPO of its French parent company in June, which valued the company at around €2.5 billion.
The other nine most searched companies (in order) were: Edmundson Electrical Limited, GB Building Solutions Limited, IESA Limited, Balfour Beatty Plc, Wolseley UK Limited, Grafton Merchanting GB Limited, Tesco Plc, Balfour Beatty Regional Construction Limited and Fairhurst Ward Abbotts Limited.
Creditsafe’s UK operations director, Rachel Mainwaring, said: “The construction industry is one of the most difficult to evaluate as firms rely on a constant influx of new contracts, so companies that file profitable accounts one year can soon find themselves in difficulty the next. The collapse of GB Building Solutions graphically exemplifies the importance of continual credit referencing.'
She continued: 'While the group had historically traded profitably, cash flow pressures forced it into administration leaving an alleged £30 million trade credit shortfall. The industry is heavily reliant on trade credit so it is vital that suppliers to construction firms continually monitor payment performance and company ratings to avoid potential losses.”