David Lawther prepares to build more value at Interior Services Group

Tuesday, Mar 29 2011 by
David Lawther prepares to build more value at Interior Services Group

When speed cycling hero Sir Chris Hoy takes to the track of London’s recently completed Olympic velodrome next summer he’ll be racing on a Siberian pine surface that promises to be the fastest in the world. While Sir Chris and his team mates will be feeling the pressure to perform, one man that can look on with rather less anxiety is David Lawther – whose company built the velodrome and handed it over on time and on budget.

For the chief executive of AIM listed construction services business Interior Services (LON:ISG), the velodrome has proved to be a glittering success long before the sweat and tears of Olympic competition gets under way. Rising from an east London landscape dominated by cranes and construction sites, Lawther’s team has built a venue that promises big things for Team GB and delivered a welcome profile boost for their company. Since taking the helm as CEO in July 2006 (having joined as FD in 2001), Lawther has refocused ISG as a predominantly construction and fit-out business with increasing emphasis on meeting the overseas requirements of its blue chip clients. It now runs operations in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia and works with clients including Barclays (LON:BARC), Royal Bank Of Scotland (LON:RBS), Standard Chartered (LON:STAN), Tesco (LON:TSCO), Pfizer, ExxonMobil and Google.

While the economic downturn dented growth, ISG has just announced interim figures which indicate that expansion in back on the agenda. In 2010, the company posted revenues of £972m and pre-tax profits of £8.7m. Half way into 2011 and revenues are at £635m and pre-tax profits stand at £4.5m. Dividends (up 5%), cash (£37.4m) and an order book of £797m, have all moved into positive territory. As a result, consensus pre-tax profits forecasts for 2011 are £12.2m. For Lawther, the company is now well placed to tackle new acquisitions and capitalise on increasing optimism in its markets.

David, ISG has seen some dramatic spells of growth over the last ten years so how have you looked to shape the company’s strategy?

Ten years ago the company was really focused purely on the commercial office market and it was London centric and we…

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