Written on the 15 September 2009
TIMES have been tough for the construction industry but thanks to a number of projects ranging from Townsville to northern New South Wales, Brisbane company Seymour Whyte is expecting more than $200 million in revenues this year.
Seymour Whyte CEO Brian Riggall says the company is in good shape with a continuous stream of infrastructure work that includes joint ventures in the Hale Street Link, the Ipswich Motorway upgrade and the Townsville Port Access Road.
Riggall says while the company is engaged in a number of its own projects, joint ventures have played a strong part in keeping continuous work, which not only brings financial benefits but boosts staff morale as well.
“We’re an SME at the top end of the scale and we’ve seen a lot of our competitors struggling to get work – the market is fairly cut-throat. The fact is that a $20 million job doesn’t take three years, whereas with a large joint venture job you’re looking at a longer focus,” says Riggall.
“Before recently we’d have a quarter where we didn’t do a lot of work – you’d have a six-month project followed by a gap of three months trying to get the next one, reshuffling staff.
“But now we’ve got continuous work which is terrific and it helps with staff as you can train people with a long run of work.”
Seymour Whyte holds a 14 per cent share in the $2 billion Ipswich Motorway upgrade in a joint venture with Abigroup and Fulton Hogan, as well as a third share in the $300 million Hale Street Link project in a joint venture with Bouygues and Macmahon.
Other projects include a 30 per cent share in a $300 million joint venture with Abigroup in Banora Point, more than $340 million worth of road upgrades in Townsville and bridge contracts for Queensland Rail valued at $33 million.
Riggall also plans to place a bid for the proposed Gold Coast rapid transit system.
“It depends on how the (state) government structures it but we’ve got a strong bid with Macmahon, Veolia, Bouygues and Alstom, so we might pick up bits of the project if the government breaks it up, but if it’s a PPP we’ve got a strong case to get the whole thing,” he says.
The company employs 160 staff.