September 21, 2018

TRAD Group – A promising year ahead

The TRAD Group, with the full support of the wider Altrad Group (which it became part of in 2013), is looking forward to the next 12 months with confidence.  As Altrad continues to go from strength-to-strength so too does TRAD, and having come through a significant restructuring exercise is ideally placed to build further on its already impressive standing within the marketplace, as Des Moore, TRAD Group CEO, recently outlined to Construction Industry News.

“Ultimately it’s the Altrad Group’s primary objective to be known as the world leader in services to the construction, oil & gas, and power generation sectors, as well as a major supplier of scaffolding, scaffolding utilities and other non-mechanical plant, which we are well on the way to achieving. As a group there’s now a much clearer picture as to what we’re about as an organisation. Altrad’s turnover is now in excess of £3.2bn, supported by over 40,000 employees, but despite the phenomenal growth it has seen over the years, the same core values instilled at its inception remain at the core of all its various businesses.”

“When businesses are acquired by the Altrad Group, they’ve always preserved their own history and culture, an approach that is set out in their management charter: ‘Pathways to the Possible’. This same ethos exists within the TRAD Group, we are proud to have kept our identity and flat management structure. We are looking to consolidate our position and having come through a significant restructuring exercise we’re keen to use this as the foundation for further development in 2018,” adds Mr Moore.

Part of a global brand

“The Altrad name is obviously well recognised and having recently conducted a major rebrand throughout its subsidiaries, has made the Altrad Groups activities more visually recognisable worldwide – this alongside other operational improvements means the group is well set for a strong 2018. Subsidiary companies within the group are involved in a wide range of disciplines, including scaffolding manufacture and selling and hiring out construction machinery. Altrad has also seen a flurry of acquisition recently with the acquisition of Cape during the course of this current financial year. Over the coming months, Hertel, Prezioso and Cape will be brought under the one common umbrella group logo also. For the most part the rebranding is now complete, although there are still a few commercial aspects to be finalised, which will take place in the coming months,” explains Mr Moore.

TRAD plans for further expansion in 2018

As part of the rebranding exercise TRAD Scaffolding is now trading nationally as TRAD Southern, TRAD Midlands and TRAD Northern, and organisational changes within TRAD have led to relocation of their Head Office to Bromley in South East London. New depots, such as the TRAD Safety Systems depot in Bristol is becoming well-established with scope for the division to expand most rapidly over the next two to three years.

“It’s all about organic growth, although we remain open to the possibility of acquiring other businesses that fit our ethos and objectives too. The fact that the Altrad Group is so diverse, and with TRAD itself able to turn its hand to a variety of different projects, will help to counter a downturn in any particular sector as there are invariably other areas of the market that are in the ascendant at any one time.

“Our diversity is a key strength, there will always be some sectors that will be busier, and it’s not good business sense to be overly reliant on any one area of the marketplace. Another central tenet of Altrad Group’s philosophy, is continual reinvestment in the assets of its individual subsidiaries to encourage their organic expansion, and a proactive acquisition strategy where suitable companies are identified and purchased to promote growth across the entire group.”

In terms of areas of the market where Altrad will be able to make the most of its growing capabilities, despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, there are encouraging signs that there’s a real appetite from the Government to address the housing shortage in the shape of extra funding. It is hoped this will breathe life into the sector, opening doors as it does so.

“Our diversity is a key strength, there will always be some sectors that will be busier, and it’s not good business sense to be overly reliant on any one area of the marketplace. Another central tenet of Altrad Group’s philosophy, is continual reinvestment in the assets of its individual subsidiaries to encourage their organic expansion, and a proactive acquisition strategy where suitable companies are identified and purchased to promote growth across the entire group.”

Des Moore, TRAD Group CEO

To further strengthen its ability to secure work, TRAD has continued to invest strongly in its Infrastructure and systems, largely as a result of the ongoing cash injection following the acquisition by the ALTRAD Group, which in itself has been an astonishing success story. Founded by Mohed Altrad who was born a poor Syrian Bedouin, before moving to France at the age of 17. He invested in a bankrupt scaffolding manufacturer in France in 1985 and developed the Altrad Group through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth. It’s meteoric rise ever since means that it is now a major player in the construction equipment market and Oil & Gas sectors, with 150 subsidiaries and 22,000 employees worldwide helping to generate an annual turnover of €2.5bn. With the combination of both reassuring influence and financial support, it has been such a positive force for the four business entities of the TRAD Group, as they each continue their own development.

Reflecting his high standing within the business world, Mohed Altrad was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 and has written three acclaimed novels including his autobiography Badawi, which is on the French National Curriculum.

Already present in the rugby world – Mohed Altrad is the President of Montpellier Hérault Rugby Club – the Altrad Group shares the values of challenge, effort and solidarity, and will be supporting the French Rugby Association in their bid to host the 2023 World Cup.

“Even in the depths of the recession, the TRAD Group remained a very strong business but since the start of ALTRAD’s involvement and their subsequent investment has been a welcome shot in the arm, enabling us to become even stronger,” says Mr Moore. “It has to be said that while there was no management charter similar to the one that exists within the ALTRAD Group itself, we found it to be quite a reasonably comfortable fit. Many of the ideals that actually exist and are installed in the charter are ones that have been at the heart of our primary values over the last 40-plus years. It was perhaps in a less sophisticated form but they were there nevertheless. It certainly wasn’t a million miles away from what we were doing before. ALTRAD invested in a very good business and their investment and their management has enabled us to be able to make it an even stronger and more profitable business than it was before. We’ve got various events and open days planned for the remainder of this year to showcase our products. These will be ongoing and will take place at our individual depots.”

Opening doors at the NASC

Mr Moore has recently taken on the role of President of the NASC and has set out an ambitious plan for improvements that aim to have wide-ranging effects throughout the scaffolding industry. “I would like to use my presidency to promote internal opportunities for management careers (including support roles such as estimating and surveying) for all people involved in our separate businesses, as well as for those who lack formal academic qualifications. Part of this will be to drive better mentoring and training for operatives within the scaffolding sector, whilst also helping encourage more women into senior positions with the industry in general – staff are a company’s greatest asset, so at TRAD, we continually invest in our people, which in turn enables us to build our customer base by being able to deliver excellent service. I would also like to make the NASC relevant to the future of the scaffolding industry; address member’s concerns; and to engage with the construction industry’s aim to improve safety and quality by setting and driving an uncompromising standard for the UK scaffolding industry.”