Polish construction market poised to grow 5% in 2012

The Polish construction market will continue to show strong performance in 2012 in terms of the value of projects completed. However, the reduced number of road construction schemes will seriously impact the sector’s results in 2013-2014. In the long term, the power sector, accompanied by the railway construction segment, will drive the growth of civil engineering construction.
The construction market is projected to see an increase of around 5% in 2012, but the years 2013 and 2014 are likely to see a marked slowdown, with the chief reason behind the downturn being a lower volume of output generated by the civil engineering construction sector. According to ”Construction sector in Poland, H1 2012 – Development forecasts for 2012-2014”, a report prepared by the market research company PMR, road construction projects nearing completion will have an adverse effect on the results of the civil engineering construction segment already in 2013. At that point, power and railway projects will take over as the driving engines of the civil engineering construction and, partly, they will offset the losses suffered by building companies in the wake of the reduced number of road construction contracts.
Civil engineering has reported continued growth since 2006. 2011 was a record-breaking year for the sector – in terms of value, the segment grew approx. 16% and closed the year with an output worth PLN 58bn (€14bn). The sector’s share, as a proportion of the total construction and assembly output, reached its all-time high last year at 60%. The segment’s outstanding performance in 2011 was driven by the completion of investment projects prepared for the Euro 2012 championships and the on-going projects co-financed by the EU budget allocated to Poland for 2007-2013.

In 2011, road construction was the largest contributor to the output generated by civil engineering construction, at more than 44%, and this sector will lose much of its share in the coming years. It was already last year that the number of large-scale road construction projects were implemented. In the long term, civil engineering construction will make up for the losses shifting its focus to other areas, such as the power industry where high-value tenders start to appear or investment projects in the rail segment, which are highly advanced, and they will improve the condition of the civil engineering segment slightly in the nearest future.
PMR researchers expect that power projects will be a genuine power engine for the Polish construction sector, just like motorway and expressway construction projects have been to date. This will be largely due to seriously insufficient capital expenditure in the power sector in the past. “Calls for tenders to develop the necessary power capacity with the value of at least PLN 60bn (€15bn) were invited in 2010 and 2011, which is expected to result in the expansion of power infrastructure by 11 GW capacity. Most of the new power units are planned to be developed in 2015 and 2016, but delays of one to two years are highly likely, mostly due to the protracted tender procedures,” says Bartlomiej Sosna, Head Construction Analyst at PMR.
What’s relevant to long-term projections for the construction industry, good news has emerged regarding the preliminary version of the new EU financial perspective for 2014-2020, which suggests that construction companies will have plenty of work on their hands until 2020. However, the key issue is now to wait through the projected slowdown. An observable trend, which has emerged in anticipation of the expected changes in civil engineering, consists in companies undergoing restructuring and moving into new business areas so as to gain a foothold in construction segments which are considered to offer greater prospects for growth. It is by all means certain that rail and power construction sectors will be among these segments.
The building construction sector, in particular office, industrial and retail construction segments, will increase their shares in total construction and assembly output in the coming years at the expense of civil engineering construction. Stable conditions for the growth of these branches of the construction industry will help, to some extent, offset the temporarily difficult situation in civil engineering construction.
This press release is based on information contained in the latest PMR report entitled “Construction sector in Poland, H1 2012 – Development forecasts for 2012-2014”.