Even before Covid19 restrivtions, the eight biggest Irish general contractors made an average net margin of 1.8 per cent in 2018. PIC: RollingNews

The economics of construction: Can Ireland’s building industry financially navigate Covid-19 restrictions?

Builders operate on tiny margins, so new social distancing rules for sites will blow up the economics of most existing projects. A big renegotiation is coming.

13th May, 2020 - 11 min read

Covid is causing three problems for construction companies. The first is the cash-straining shutdown itself. The second is a giant negotiation over social distancing on crowded sites. The third is the prospect of much less investment in the coming years.

As I’ve written before, profit margins are tight in the construction industry. The eight biggest Irish general contractors made an average net margin of 1.8 per cent in 2018. Specialist subcontractors like mechanical engineers made 4.4 per cent. There’s not a lot of...

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