Property consultants Drivers Jonas has defied the gloom by posting an increase in turnover of more than 25 per cent at its Birmingham office.
The company, which has its Birmingham office at Cornwall Court headed by Gary Cardin, saw strong performance from its planning & development and project management & building consultancy teams for the year ending May 31.
The office was boosted by its presence on the Office of Government Commerce and Home Office frameworks – essential for involvement in major Governmental projects – the latter of which was recently renewed for a further four years.
Despite considerable market pressures as a result of the economic crisis which has hit the property sector hard, Drivers Jonas’ Birmingham office’s turnover represents 4.3 per cent of fee income of the partnership, which also has offices in London, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh and European offices in Paris, Frankfurt and Madrid.
Mr Cardin, planning partner and head of Drivers Jonas’ Birmingham office – who is also chair of the Colmore BID – said: “Having recently celebrated ten successful years in the city, we continue to go from strength to strength and this is reflected in our growing clientele and increasing staff numbers. Despite the downturn we are committed to our graduate recruitment programme with four recent graduate appointments taking us to 50 employees.
“With specialist teams working across a spectrum of property disciplines in both the public and private sectors, the Birmingham office is firmly established as a base of expertise spanning the East and West Midlands. Our varied range of significant project work, matched with our strong performance culture gives us a solid grounding to best adapt to fluctuating market conditions. We will continue with our positive approach to business over the coming months and have a number of exciting deals in the pipeline.”
Nick Shepherd, managing partner of Drivers Jonas since 2001, said: “The partnership, now an LLP, is delighted of course with another sparkling set of results for 2008. But we have achieved these results, firstly because there has been no complacency among the partners, even during the huge growth years of 2005-2007, secondly because our flexible partnership model enables us to be nimble on our feet in times of change, and thirdly because there is a clear and cohesive vision throughout the firm of our strategic direction and ambitions. There is a fantastic spirit at all levels of the firm and a real belief in what we are doing.
“We have not followed the crowd in seeking to raise turnover by buying in other firms. Our growth in revenue has been entirely organic and has come from growing our existing businesses and investing in new service lines and new locations.
“Despite these investments, which we have funded entirely from our own resources, we ended the year with substantial cash balances. We are therefore well placed as a partnership to attract into our business teams from elsewhere with complementary skills and a strong client following.”
The first quarter of 2008/9 (June – August) also started well for Drivers Jonas with fees 8.5 per cent up on quarter one 2007/8. However Mr Shepherd warned: “The last financial year was tough, but the new year will be tougher still as economic, banking and property market conditions deteriorate further. Although we are pleased with our quarter one revenue performance, we have implemented a number of cost saving initiatives across our business. However, we have honoured all our new graduate commitments, and we continue to take on new people in growth areas of the firm.”