Galliford Try plc is a British construction company based in Leicester, England. It was created through a merger in 2000 of two businesses: Try Group, founded in 1908 in London, and Galliford, founded in 1916.
|Type||Public limited company|
|Peter Ventress (non-executive chairman)|
Bill Hocking (CEO)
|Revenue||£1,124.8 million (2021)|
|£8.0 million (2021)|
|£10.4 million (2021)|
Number of employees
Formerly involved in house-building, it sold its housing businesses to Bovis Homes - subsequently renamed Vistry Group - in January 2020, and Galliford Try is today focused on the building, highways and environment markets. Prior to the sale of its housing arm, it was ranked fifth largest by turnover among UK construction companies in 2019.
The company was created in 2000 through a merger of Try Group plc, founded in 1908 in London, and Galliford plc, founded in 1916.
Try was founded by William S Try, a carpenter, in 1908 in Uxbridge, west London. W. S. Try Ltd operated as a general contractor until the beginning of the 1970s, when Try Homes was formed. Despite acquisitions, housing remained on a relatively small scale, peaking at around 200 units a year in the beginning of the 1990s.
Thomas Galliford established a steamroller hire business in Wolvey, Warwickshire in 1916, but this closed during World War II after which his sons re-formed the company, incorporated as a civil engineering business, Galliford & Sons, on 2 April 1952. Galliford became a public company in 1965. It then entered the private housing market in 1973 with the acquisition of Crabb Curtis. The housing contribution was late extended through Stamford Homes and, in 1998, the acquisition of Midas Homes, by which time the group was building around 500 houses a year.
Galliford Try plcEdit
Between 2005 and 2015 the company was led by chief executive Greg Fitzgerald. The company expanded its construction business acquiring Morrison Construction from AWG plc in March 2006 and Miller Construction from Miller Homes in July 2014. It expanded its housebuilding business acquiring Gerald Wood Homes in 2001, Chartdale in January 2006, Kendall Cross in November 2007, Linden Homes in February 2008, Rosemullion Homes in December 2009 and Shepherd Homes in May 2015. All the individual house building divisions were rebranded as Linden Homes in 2011.
In February 2018, following the January collapse of Carillion (Galliford Try's joint venture partner, with Balfour Beatty, on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, AWPR), Galliford Try said it would need to raise £150m to pay for cost overruns on the project; in November 2018, the company said delays would cost an extra £20m, taking its total project hit to £143m. CEO Peter Truscott said the company's construction division would no longer undertake fixed price major projects of this kind. On 27 March 2018, the company confirmed it had successfully raised £158m in a rights issue. Truscott left Galliford Try in March 2019 with Graham Prothero appointed as new CEO.
In April 2019, the company announced it would reduce its construction operation as part of a strategic review undertaken in light of additional costs from the AWPR project, and from Morrison Construction's role on the £1.35bn Queensferry Crossing project. The announcement caused Galliford Try's share price to drop 19%. The company subsequently announced 350 jobs were likely to be cut – mostly in Galliford Try's Scottish infrastructure operations – as the company focused on core strengths in buildings, water and highways. Restructuring the construction business cost the group £10m.
In July 2019, Galliford Try was suspended from the Prompt Payment Code for failing to pay suppliers on time. Following improvements in its payment performance, it was restored to the Prompt Payment Code in January 2020.
On 11 September 2019, the group reported revenues for the year to June 2019 of £2.863bn (down 8% from 2018); pre-tax profit was down 27% at £104.7m. Galliford Try reported a £61.5m operating loss on its construction activities, with revenues down 18%, affected also by the losses incurred on the AWPR project.
2019-2020: Sale of house-building armEdit
On 24 May 2019, Galliford Try's board rejected a £950m offer from Bovis Homes (led by former CEO Fitzgerald) for the Linden Homes and Partnerships & Regeneration businesses. In July, the group was said to be considering a possible demerger of construction from the more profitable housing and partnerships business, potentially in 2020/21.
Talks with Bovis Homes about a possible sale reopened in September 2019, with a preliminary deal, valued at £1.075bn, reportedly agreed. Sale of the housing business would recapitalise Galliford Try's construction business, which, following restructuring, would employ some 3,400 staff generating revenues of around £1.4bn. On 7 November, it was reported that Bovis Homes had agreed a share and cash deal that valued Galliford Try's housing business at £1.1bn. The sale of Galliford Try's housing interests to Bovis Homes - later renamed Vistry Group - was completed on 3 January 2020. Galliford Try received shares plus £300m cash in the deal, making it a well-capitalised standalone contractor. As expected, Bill Hocking, formerly head of Galliford Try's construction arm, was appointed CEO of Galliford Try Holdings. Sale of the housing arm left the remaining business able to focus on the general construction, highways and environment markets.
2020-present: Stand-alone contractorEdit
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Galliford Try furloughed staff and suspended a previously announced dividend. It said it could not quantify the pandemic's impacts on its operations and supply chain, and on its financial performance. In a July 2020 trading update, Galliford Try reported an operating loss of 5% due to the pandemic. In a March 2021 trading update, Hocking forecast Galliford Try would report a full-year profit of around £10m on revenues between £1.1bn and £1.3bn.
In October 2021, Galliford Try acquired NMCN's water business for £1m from NMCN's administrators. In December 2021, the company moved its headquarters from Wolvey to the Gateway House development at Grove Park in Leicester.
Major projects include:
- the Centre Court roof at Wimbledon, completed in 2009
- the Corby Cube, completed in 2010
- the restoration of the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, completed in 2011
- the Museum of Liverpool, completed in 2011
- The Hive, Worcester, completed in 2012
- Halley VI Research Station, completed in 2013
- Hotel Football overlooking the football ground Old Trafford, completed in 2014
- Birmingham Dental Hospital, completed in 2016
- Queensferry Crossing, completed in 2017
- Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, completed in 2019
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- Galliford Try buys Kendall Cross for £9.3m Building, 15 November 2007
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- Rogers, Dave (8 November 2019). "Galliford Try set to appoint third chief exec in less than a year". Building. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
- Marshall, Jordan (31 March 2020). "Galliford Try furloughs staff and axes dividend". Building. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
- Prior, Grant (15 July 2020). "Galliford Try confident of strong Covid recovery". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
- Morby, Aaron (4 March 2021). "Galliford Try returns to profit and resumes dividends". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
- Pitcher, Greg (7 October 2021). "Galliford Try acquires NMCN's £100m water business". Construction News. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
- "Galliford Try leaves historic Wolvey home". The Construction Index. 9 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
- Galliford Try: £60m profit Archived 20 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine Contract Journal, 11 September 2008
- "Review reveals Corby Cube tale of woe". Construction Manager Magazine. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
- Galliford Try checks into Midland Grand The Times, 17 February 2009
- "Museum of Liverpool gets iconic structure". New Steel Construction. 1 March 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
- "Footbridge installed at Worcester's Hive project". BBC. 19 September 2011.
- "World's first mobile research centre opens in Antarctica". De Zeen. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
- "Galliford Try bags £12m Gary Neville hotel". Building. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- "Galliford Try secures Birmingham Dental Hospital". Construction Index. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- "Construction industry invited to bid for Forth Replacement Crossing contract" (Press release). Transport Scotland. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
- "Aberdeen bypass: Preferred bidder named as Connect Roads". BBC News.