Higgins Group, a construction company based in Essex, has grown by taking on large contracts for housing associations. As councils turned to housing associations to manage their properties with more commercial focus, Higgins Group positioned itself as a principal building contractor in this market. Set up in 1961, the company generates around 70% of its turnover from this source, with recent work including a five year £35m development at Pollards Hill for the Moat Housing Group. Such contracts have driven profits up by 65% pa, from £1m in 1996 to £4.7m in 1999. Sales in the same period rose by 18% pa to £80.8m. Managing director Derek Higgins attributes the Group’s success to a policy of steering clear of competitive tendering for contracts. Instead, it focuses on clients who are prepared to pay a premium for the Group’s services in the interests of making savings on repairs and maintenance over the long term.
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