The UK market leader in the design, manufacture and installation of commercial and industrial chimney, flue and exhaust systems, A1 Flues has reached an historical new landmark after its order book topped £5m for the first time.
In November 2015, A1 Flue Systems’ order book reached £5.2m worth of live projects that the company is currently working on – more than 60% up on last year’s £3.2m.
The award-winning Nottinghamshire-based company is putting the rise down to two key reasons.
Securing a number of high-profile project wins over recent months, but the firm hasn’t been able to publicly promote many of them, as it often acts as a subcontractor to main contractors and therefore has to work in accordance with strict non-disclosure agreements.
The fact that the average value of contracts has roughly doubled from £30,000 to £60,000 in 12 months.
Director John Hamnett also believes that the growth is down to the fact that many of the projects that the company is now securing are ones that were originally mothballed because of the recession
He commented: “We are seeing a rise in confidence levels within the construction industry, particularly in respect of some landmark projects, where the levels of investment are very significant.”
While many of the projects are in and around London, the company – which employs nearly 140 people – has seen a rise in the number of prestige contracts outside the UK after it started an export drive several years ago.
A1 Flue Systems is not overly concerned with figures that show the volume of live orders is actually 20% down year-on-year, as the company recognises that it’s losing market share at the bottom end of the market, where low-value contracts are still very much price driven.
Hamnett is well aware that A1 Flue Systems has lost contracts to companies that aren’t compliant with CE Mark regulations.
He noted that this is far outweighed by the fact that A1 Flue Systems was the first company to achieve the CE Mark back in 2013 – and still remains the only UK company to have achieved accreditation for a complete flue system.
Hamnett said: “We are being invited to tender for some of the highest-profile and most-challenging contracts in the UK because of the level of our expertise in being able to engineer solutions that many other flue firms simply can’t achieve.
“The CE Mark works in our favour because it clearly demonstrates our capabilities and backs up our credentials on high-profile projects such as The Shard in London, which was a challenge in itself to design a flue and chimney system for the tallest building in the UK.”
According to the firm, many of these projects are due to be completed over the coming six months.