Considering the future value of investment in the construction sector, CIF Director for Specialist Contracting Sean Downey

by | Oct 26, 2021

In the context of the annual CIF Top 50, we talk about turnover. While topline figures can be very encouraging, reflecting the value of work that’s underway, this does not represent the health of the sector.

Alan Miltz is an Australian economist who said ‘turnover is vanity, profit is sanity but cash flow is reality’. There are underlying issues that our companies are focusing on resolving, including the balance of risk and contracts, meeting resource requirements to service projects and also supporting the longer term health of their business.

CIF is building strategic responses to these challenges and positive engagement with the relevant government departments. It’s imperative that we all work to smooth out the unsustainable boom-bust cycle, but as a small open economy we have to live with that as a global economic reality.

What we can try to do is build in a more resilient and flexible industry that can respond in time to demand, while also protecting its core values and assets – its people and their capabilities. Ireland’s construction industry continues to be world-class, leading the delivery of projects across the full spectrum of pharmaceutical, medtech, IT, data and new residential across multiple jurisdictions.

CIF Director Sean Downey. Picture: Conor McCabe Photogrphy

In a post-Covid world Ireland’s construction sector must be ready to position itself for the recalibrated levels of demand for our services. Furthermore, financial supports are on the way to support the restart in the medium term and construction will be a significant beneficiary.

The green deal and the advancement towards a more sustainable, more modern and digitised industry also has very significant EU-led funding on the horizon. CIF has continued to engage with those policy units and those government departments with the responsibility for delivering fiscal measures to ensure companies get real support to modernise, but furthermore that the State gets value from its investment in our sector.

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