Kennesaw State, Bennett Thrasher Release Survey of the State’s Privately Held Construction Companies
Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
The Second Annual Georgia Construction Outlook Survey indicates that nearly 78 percent of the state’s privately held construction companies project a revenue increase over the prior year. The survey, released on Tuesday, was conducted by Bennett Thrasher, one of the country’s largest full-service certified public accounting and consulting firms, in cooperation with Kennesaw State University’s College of Construction Management.
The results were presented by Scott Hazy and Tom Jollay, Bennett Thrasher’s Construction Practice Co-Leaders, along with a corporate development update by Khalid Siddiqi, Chair of Kennesaw State University’s Department of Construction Management. One hundred fifty-four companies responded to the online survey, the purpose of which is to provide specific benchmarking data of the state’s general contractors and subcontractors. That number is nearly double the number that participated in the previous year’s study. Georgia is home to 9,600 privately held construction companies.
Major takeaways from the survey include:
77.78 percent of respondents projected an increase in revenue for the next year, which is slightly down from 85.96 percent the previous year. Among those projecting an increase, 40.17 percent expected an increase of 10 percent or more.
The majority of companies have experienced an increase in profit margins over the prior year.
71.43 percent of heavy contractors experienced an increase.
52.08 percent of general contractors experienced an increase.
51.52 percent of specialty contractors experienced an increase.
The average increase for all contracts in health care premiums was 13.32 percent.
Respondents reported an average gross profit margin of 9.33 percent, down from 10.54 the previous year.
66.94 percent of respondents reported a higher project backlog from the prior year.
There was a 78 percent increase in responses that contractors would explore “expansion of geographic reach” as a business strategy compared to the prior year’s survey.
83.33 percent of the companies surveyed said recruiting and retaining qualified employees is their biggest business challenge. This number is down slightly from last year, when it was 87.10 percent.
For companies that have a line of credit, 76 percent are not drawing against it.
67.21 percent of the companies surveyed said they are a family-owned business and yet nearly 52 percent of surveyed participants said they did not or were unsure if they had a succession plan in place.
The average ratio of human resources directors per full-time employee is 1-to-105.
Salaries were up an average of 5.2 percent. The survey also compiled data on compensation, including the average salaries at the following occupations for all contractors:
IT Manager: $79,857.
Project Manager: $81,042.
Sales/Marketing Manager: $90,571.
HR Manager: $59,531.
Cost Engineer: $62,708.