AusGroup eyes $1B prize

CONSTRUCTION company AusGroup plans to expand the business to $A1 billion riding on the streams of iron ore, coal and LNG projects in Western Australia and Queensland while doubling its trade apprentices along the way.
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AusGroup CEO Laurie Barlow

Brooke Showers

Recently appointed AusGroup chief executive officer and managing director Laurie Barlow said the company was committed to fostering a strong executive management team to drive further expansion in Western Australia and the eastern states.

“AusGroup’s productivity will be improved through cost efficiencies of large projects currently underway,” Barlow said.

“We will also support our growth plans by significant increases to our workforce across Western Australia and Queensland, which will also see us doubling our apprenticeship numbers across both regions as the business grow.”

The group has teamed up with the Australian Employment Covenant since 2010 and was formally acknowledged last month for its ongoing commitment to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were given opportunities to work on mining projects across the Pilbara region of WA.

Barlow joined the company in March bringing 25 years experience in the minerals and industrial sectors and has been involved in the development and delivery of significant mining projects in Australia.

His track record on the mining circuit will be used to focus AusGroup’s growth plan towards improving the bottom line and its project management capabilities.

As a mark of increasing its presence in the Queensland market, AusGroup recently opened an office in Brisbane with the eastern region operations being led by executive general manager Dave Gilbert.

In addition to its geographical expansion, AusGroup also experienced substantial growth across its construction business and subsequently former AusGroup general manager Tom Vorster moved into an executive general manager position for major projects.

In his previous role with company, Vorster secured projects to the value of $360 million and through his experience will support AusGroup in achieving project milestones and building the business through organic growth and development.

AusGroup revenue for the 2011 financial year was $602 million, nearly doubling its 2010 revenue of $306 million.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in 2011 increased to $36.6 million last year compared to an EBITDA of $26 million in 2010.

AusGroup’s order book stands at $377 million, including contracts with heavyweights Rio Tinto and Woodside and most recently bagging a $160 million contract with Karara iron ore.

The group’s services include scaffolding, fabrication, insulation, painting and structural, mechanical, piping installation and construction services.

This article first appeared in ILN's sister publication