Construction group Morgan Sindall has seen strong trading in its ‘fit out’ business, which handles everything from putting in electrics and air conditioning in offices, to painting walls.
The FTSE 250’s firm’s chief executive John Morgan said the Overbury division, which works with tenants and landlords doing up offices, has had a busy start to the year, including in London.
He said some jobs are in buildings that were pre-let two or three years back and occupiers are nearing to move in dates, and other work is with businesses that want to upgrade their existing offices for when people are ready to return to them.
Many companies have had office-based staff working from home since last March when the first lockdown started.
There are plenty of debates around the pros and cons of remote working, and a number of bosses are expected to embrace a mix of home and office working when restrictions ease.
In an update on trading and the outlook for 2021, Morgan Sindall said: “Fit out has had a very strong trading period and its secured order book at the end of March was 18% higher than at the year end.”
The company added: “In addition, it has in excess of £400m of work currently at preferred bidder stage. Taken together, fit out is expected to deliver a result for the year which is materially ahead of its medium-term target.”
Total group pretax profits for 2021 are expected to be ahead of the £94 million that analysts had pencilled in. House broker Numis now forecasts profits of around £109 million.
Morgan said: "Since the start of the year, the positive momentum across the group has continued to accelerate.”