RSK’s positive results are unfortunately not mirrored in the overall tone of the GSF. The introduction to the report begins, “This year’s GSF does not make for pleasant reading regarding the last 12 months, with the sector contracting to the size last seen in 2016. Political uncertainty and project delays have meant that the concerns regarding market activity indicated in the 2018 GSF have come to bear. The combined turnover of the top 100 geotechnical companies in the UK has fallen back slightly to £1.48bn, down from £1.55bn last year which was an all-time industry high. The figures for the last 12 months put the sector back to the size it was in 2016.
“Delays to Brexit and the start of High Speed 2 is creating more uncertainty than usual in the ground engineering market resulting in slower activity in the last 12 months. But optimism for the future remains firm,” the report continues.
Speaking of RSK’s rising to ninth position for geotechnical companies by UK turnover, the GSF comments, “In ninth place is RSK Group with £52M – up from 11th position last year – but the increase is not down to the string of geotechnical businesses it has acquired in the last 12 months, including CAN Geotechnical, as the businesses still declare their turnover in the GSF as independent companies.”
Other concerns across the industry raised in the report, include skills, recruitment and diversity challenges.
“The reports shows RSK’s strong organic growth, with our technical expertise and service offering growing further through the new businesses that have joined the group,” comments RSK geosciences and engineering divisional director George Tuckwell.
Subscribers can read the GSF in full on the Ground Engineering website.