Chief financial officers of engineering companies underestimated the speed of the industry's post-recession recovery, but they are taking aggressive steps to rein in costs and focus on balance sheets. In a survey of 120 firms, CFOs report median growth of 2% in 2010, below the 4.5% increase they projected for the year when queried last April. They also report a 9.6% median profit margin for last year, less than the 10.7% return they had forecast a year ago. “I see the increasing role of metrics and squeezing costs,” said Paul Zofnass, president of EFCG Inc., a New York City financial
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.