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Thu November 26 2020

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Record results for Leicester fit-out firm

19 Aug Leicester-based fit-out and joinery specialist EE Smith saw its turnover leap 53% last year to reach new heights.

The board, L to R: Mike Collis (investor director), Richard Hollingsworth (commercial director), Dan Cashmore (contracts director), Ian Lawson (non-exec chairman), Neil Bottrill (MD), John Richardson (production director) and Neil Simpson (finance)
The board, L to R: Mike Collis (investor director), Richard Hollingsworth (commercial director), Dan Cashmore (contracts director), Ian Lawson (non-exec chairman), Neil Bottrill (MD), John Richardson (production director) and Neil Simpson (finance)

With a focus on high-end projects, EE Smith Contracts Ltd generated revenue of £50.3m in the to 31st March 2020 (2019: £32.9m) and made £2.5m pre-tax profit (2018: £1.9m).

Turnover and profit would have been even higher had it not been for two significant contracts being delayed into the current financial year.

The company therefore expects to maintain its level of activity this year despite the impact of Covid-19 on trading.

The 123-year-old business employs 300 staff and up to 375 agency staff to work on its specialist joinery and interiors contracts.

The majority of the company’s work is in London and contracts have included a new luxury hotel for Edwardian Hotels Group in Leicester Square, luxury developments in Grosvenor Square and Battersea Power Station, as well as a string of high-end residential developments in the capital.

Finance director Neil Simpson said: “It has been a bumper year because of the number of prestigious contracts we have secured. This growth is reward for our hard-earned reputation for excellence. The whole business is focused on satisfying our client’s needs, by creating incredibly interiors in a professional and efficient manner.

“We have been able to grow whilst maintaining our marque for quality because we are continually investing in our manufacturing facilities. This ensures our efficiency and capability remain market leading.”

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He continued: “Our heritage has been in joinery since 1897, which is the base of our business. We have coupled these time-served craft skills with today’s high-tech machinery which, over time, has enabled us to build a reputation for providing a high-quality service.

“By investing in training for our employees, we are reaping the benefits of using state-of-the-art technology and we have carved out a niche for providing impressive interiors.

“About 60% of our work is with repeat clients, which is the perfect endorsement for our efforts. We are confident there are significant flagship opportunities coming up in the months and years ahead to maintain our success, including two new multi-million contracts in London that we are starting on shortly.”

Neil Simpson said there had been challenges during Covid-19 particularly when Leicester was placed back into lockdown in July, but orders and enquiries were continuing.

“Some of the sites we work on in London were temporarily closed at the start of lockdown but everything is back up and running again. Despite the pandemic, we are aiming to match these record results in the coming year,” he said.

“The recent lockdown in Leicester has caused some challenges and the social distancing measures has meant modifications but we have embraced the changes to our working practices and have gone further than the recommendations in some instance.

“There is no doubt the commercial property sector is going to be affected in the short, medium and long-term but in the high-end residential world, those with significant wealth continue to have an appetite to invest in luxury houses and apartments in London. There is no doubt that the high-end residential and luxury hotel markets in central London remain buoyant.”

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