With hospital construction no longer under the aegis of the private finance initiative (PFI), Mace is now interested. It sees the healthcare, bioscience and pharmaceutical sector as a key target market, especially now that airport construction is in decline.
Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds said that he hoped to win three or four of the new hospital construction projects that the government plans over the next 10 years. Mace had not pitched for hospitals in the past, he explained, because it used to be a PFI market, laden with risk that Mace was not prepared to take on.
The Mace board has set out a new corporate strategy with targets for 2026. These include 20% margin growth and 10% revenue growth year-on-year, every year, until 2026, taking group revenue to £3bn. Revenue in 2019 was £1.8bn.
The privately-held company operates in four divisions: consultancy, construction, facilities management and property development. Most recent accounts show that the Mace Consult consultancy business delivered £38.3m pre-tax profit on revenue of £314m in 2019. The Mace Construct contracting business made £45.9m pre-tax profit on revenue of £1,390m. Mace Operate lost £1.4m before tax on revenue of £144m.
Growth targets for Mace Construct are a more modest 5%; there are bigger growth plans for Mace Consult, Mark Reynolds said, both in the UK and overseas, with major projects and new ventures planned.
One target for Mace Construct is to deliver 90% of its work by 2026 using ‘modern' methods of construction, which he defined as a sub-assembly and platform based approach, using factory-made components. Mace has used modular components on the East Village high-rise development in Stratford, east London. First there was the ‘jump factory’ concept, with Dorman Long jacking technology maintaining a shroud over the rising structure throughout construction. This evolved into Mace Tech, taking a production line approach to building without the canopy overhead.
Mark Reynolds said that there were three Mace Tech projects in the UK pipeline, with the first starting in June.
Other group targets include reducing carbon emissions by 10% year-on-year, and reducing gender and ethnicity pay gaps by 10% year on year.
Asked to identify the main differences between the previous 2022 strategy and the new 2026 strategy, he said: “We’re now clearer and more focused.”
The new strategy is heavy on the rhetoric. It opens: “Since day one, we have relentlessly pursued a better way. Our purpose – to redefine the boundaries of ambition – is the reason we do it. It’s why we exist.”
Elsewhere it says: “By putting purpose at the heart of everything we do, our vision is that by 2026 Mace will be leading the way across the globe in disrupting how the built environment is developed, built and operated.”
Mark Reynolds bridled at the suggestion that this was all just marketing flannel. “People don’t care what you do,” he said. “They care why you do it.”
That, he explained, was a quote from advertising man turned business guru Simon Sinek, author of Leaders East Last and Start With Why. What Sinek actually said, in the latter book, was (according to reports): “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” But the sentiment is the same. Mark Reynolds’ mission is to imbue Mace with values.
To read more about Mace's 2026 business strategy, see strategy.macegroup.com/2026-business-strategy