Survey Reveals Hot Market for Specialty Firms
Specialty contractors in California experienced a strong market in 2016. Revenue for firms participating in ENR’s annual survey reached more than $9 billion in 2016, with the top 10 accounting for more than half that amount.
For the top five California firms, revenue grew nearly $869 million, an increase of more than 26% from the previous year.
Contractors and specialty firms are taking advantage of the state’s robust market, with companies constantly seeking additional materials and skilled labor while bidding aggressively for projects.
“California remains a very hot market for us,” says Tom Sorley, chairman and CEO of Rosendin Electric. “That applies across almost every market sector.”
Rosendin Electric jumped to No. 1 on the list this year from No. 3, with revenue rising 80% to $1.2 billion. An increase in data center and renewable energy projects, in addition to more aggressive construction schedules and Rosendin’s relationships in the industry, have contributed to that growth. “The electrical and systems packages are becoming a larger percentage of the construction budget,” Sorley says.
The market is keeping specialty firms busy, but pricing remains competitive, says Brett Eckles, president of the American Subcontractors Association of California. The sector still contends with a skilled labor shortage, and prices for materials continue to rise.
“People are still working with less,” Eckles says. “They didn’t come in and hire a 50% increase.”
Ken Long, president at Largo Concrete Inc., saw strong revenue growth last year. The company moved up on the list to No. 5 from No. 6 with $375 million in revenue.
“Despite the vast amount of work that is available on the market, it is surprisingly competitive,” Long says.