Family-owned Welsh construction and property firm cements growth

One of Wales’ largest construction and property firms has seen a period of unprecedented growth, after winning major contracts worth in excess of £30m this year.

Jehu Group, which specialises in construction contracting and commercial and residential development, is set to increase its 2014/15 turnover from £29m to £48m after securing new contracts with household brands JD Wetherspoon, Whitbread and Morrisons supermarkets. In addition, it has secured a project worth £5.6m to build a 60-bed care home for Grwp Gwalia.

The Bridgend-based business has also acquired land in Cardiff suburbs, Marshfield and Morganstown, and St Brides Major in the Vale of Glamorgan to develop luxury houses under its Waterstone Homes brand.

The group’s 2013/14 audited accounts show pre-tax profits have increased by 174% compared to the previous year which has further underpinned the company’s balance sheet to facilitate the growth.

Founded in the mid 1930s by Jack Jehu, the family-run business was taken over by Jack’s son René in the 1970’s, followed by his grandsons Marc and Simon in the late 1990’s. A group structure was put in place in 2008 to consolidate and strengthen its contracting and development operations as the company entered the recession.

Operating four divisions – Jehu Project Services, Waterstone Homes, Waterstone Estates and Jehu Energy Solutions- has enabled the company to offer a portfolio of services including building large-scale commercial projects and residential luxury homes across Wales.

The group structure helped the business survive the 2008 ‘housing market crisis’ as its contracting business, Jehu Project Services, was still profitable during the year.

As a result of its recent growth, the business now has more than 110 members of staff and employs in excess of 500 sub-contractors across Wales. It has also launched a management-training scheme to help foster the next generation of talent.

Jehu Group was recognised for building excellence in the prestigious 2014 Building Excellence Awards, where it picked up three awards for ‘Best New Social Housing Development’, ‘Best Large Commercial Project’ and ‘Best Site Manager’.

The company is aiming for balanced growth between its contracting and development operations, focusing on further developing relationships with housing associations, land owners and successful retail/leisure operators.

Marc Jehu, Managing Director of Contracting said:

“In the last 12 months, we have achieved significant success, winning major contracts that have resulted in unprecedented growth.

“Our success has been largely based around our flexible nature, as we can adapt our business to suit market conditions, as proven during the housing crisis. Our multi-disciplined skill base means we can take on a number of different projects and deliver excellent results.

“House building was a highly challenging sector to be in between 2009 and 2011, however our contracting business was very strong and carried us through. Now for the first time, both residential development and contracting are in strong positions, which is good news for the Welsh construction industry.

“Last month, Constructing Excellence in Wales challenged the next generation of construction industry leaders to help deliver the Wales of the future. We know our success comes from the team around us, and their skills and experience are critical to our success.

“We are committed to nurturing the next generation of construction talent, which includes encouraging more women into the industry.”