Record turnover for award-winning Welsh interiors specialist

(l-r) Andy Graham group chairman and CEO Steve Lesbirel

Wales’ largest interiors fit-out specialist, Beacons Business Interiors (Bbi), is celebrating nearly 30 years in business with a record-breaking £30.5 million turnover for year-end May 2016.

The Brecon-headquartered company has doubled its turnover in just five years, having reported a £15 million turnover in 2012/13. And its success looks set to continue in 2017, having recruited several local staff to support the business’ expansion and increased its presence in the life science and pharmaceutical sector with several multi-million pound contracts in the past two years.

Andy Graham, Bbi’s founder and executive chairman, attributes the company’s success to consistently high standards, a great team and more than a smattering of positive thinking.

“This is the consolidation of 29 years of hard work and the high standards we employ,” said Mr Graham. “I started the business with my partners, Steve Lesbirel and Steve Hughes, and we quickly surrounded ourselves with a team of experts who were, and still are, as passionately driven and committed as us. You cannot achieve this level of success without good people around you.”

Nearly three decades after establishing the business in 1989, despite downturns and periods of political uncertainty, this can-do attitude has seen Bbi enjoy continued growth without ever having to borrow money.

“The aim was always to grow steadily and organically,” said Mr Graham. “We haven’t had a cash injection. We have never been in the red. In 2008 we brought in a chartered accountant who thought it was crazy not to be borrowing money. Then the crash happened and she quickly changed her mind.”

Bbi operates from three strategic locations in the UK and employs more than 50 people, as well as hundreds of subcontracted staff on a number of high-profile projects across the UK. It provides facilities support services, including interior design, mechanical and electrical design, space planning, project management and a large range of products to a number of corporate clients. These clients include Wales and West Housing, Network Rail, Hodge Bank, and Zurich.

At the end of last year, the commercial interiors specialist won an excellence award for its work with local authority building control (LABC) teams. Nominated for their work locally, regionally and nationally, Bbi’s year culminated in a win at the national final of the LABC Building Excellence Awards – one of the most recognised events on the building industry’s calendar.

It was, Mr Graham said, “a proud moment for the team”.

While speculation surrounding the impact of Brexit continues, Mr Graham is characteristically upbeat about the future of the sector.

“It’s an opportunity for change and we must accept it,” he said. “We started in the middle of a recession and never really concentrated on how good or bad things were. You have got to focus on the positives when you have a business. You can’t afford to sit and worry about things. There are always opportunities. Our experience has taught us to adapt to whatever life throws at us.”