DHBC targets growth

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Truro-based Darren Healey Building Contractors (DHBC) is gearing up for further growth in its 20th anniversary year.

The company has invested over £400k in a fleet of 28 new vehicles and has recruited two more apprentices.

It will also shortly announce the appointment of DHBC’s first dedicated new business development manager. His targets will include larger contracts and a greater emphasis on design and build.

The latest growth phase will follow a period of sustained expansion that has included the formation of a sister company, property developer Highgrove Homes South West Ltd, with both coming under the umbrella of the Highgrove Homes Group Ltd.

Four years ago brother/directors Darren and Mark Healey invested half a million pounds in a new headquarters on Truro Business Park. This subsequently had to be expanded by 50% to accommodate the continued growth.

At its peak, DHBC and Highgrove Homes were directly employing 91 full time staff and providing work for around 150 sub-contractors. The economic downturn has reduced those figures to 76 and 110 respectively.

Darren Healey says he is confident that the construction fall-off has now bottomed out and is hopeful that the direct employment figure can build up to the 90 mark again by the end of this year.

“Despite the deep recession and hardening of the market, this year’s projected group turnover will be up again, in excess of £18 million, with DHBC increasing by 53% to account for roughly half the group total,” he said.

“I am particularly pleased that we have been able to maintain our apprentice intake. This is often one of the first areas for cutbacks in a recession, but it is vitally important that we bring more youngsters into the industry and develop the skills that will be the bedrock of its future.”