Rok bought Sol in 2007. It's latest annual results show a profit margin of 1.8%.
Since the time of the acquisition there have been several shifts of emphasis. The set-up prior to acquisition in each of SolвЂ™s offices was different:
Nottingham вЂ“ was previously mainly a contracting operation with university clients throughout the Midlands
Warwick вЂ“ did both general building and maintenance, particularly for breweries.
вЂњAt Warwick we have back-filled its existing work with additional maintenance work that Rok was doing in the area,вЂќ said Snook, вЂњwhile at Nottingham we have added a maintenance capability.ADVERTISEMENT
вЂњRight now Sol is in line with the rest of our business.вЂќ
Prior to acquisition, the bulk of SolвЂ™s turnover came from construction where margins of 1.9% were in line with the industry average.
Snook has worked vigorously to transform RokвЂ™s mode of operation, shying away from new build which he sees as a highly volatile sector.
RokвЂ™s new build turnover ran to ВЈ550m in 2007 and has been halved since that time.
вЂњOur [new build] budget for 2009 is ВЈ240m and weвЂ™ve got ВЈ220m of that,вЂќ he said. вЂњIn 2010 I donвЂ™t expect the figure to go beyond ВЈ200m.
вЂњGroups with a big exposure in new build will struggle вЂ“ we are already seeing seven or eight names on tender lists whereas a year ago there would have been just three or four.вЂќ
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