The operating profit of small construction businesses (those with 1 to 19 employees) increased by $1.25 billion between 2011 and 2019 to $1.97 billion. In the same period, the operating profit of large businesses (100+ employees) increased by $273 million to $728 million.

“Before COVID-19, small businesses contributed 37 percent of the construction industry’s operating profit and accounted for around 40 percent of all construction businesses,” annual enterprise survey manager Melissa McKenzie said.

“In comparison, large businesses contributed 14 percent of the industry’s operating profit and accounted for less than one percent of construction businesses.”

“Construction businesses experienced rising operating profits as earthquake rebuild activities in Canterbury and new work in Auckland boosted construction activity over the last decade,” Ms McKenzie said.

“Initially, small businesses experienced the largest growth in profitability, but in the last few years bigger construction businesses have led profitability growth.”

Busy summer for builders has more information on building volumes.

The number of small construction businesses has also grown, along with activity and profits, to over 26,000 businesses that employed around 90,000 people in 2019. In contrast, there were over 100 construction businesses with more than 100 employees that employed around 40,000 people in 2019.

Construction industry at the top of the ladder for business counts growth has more information on construction industry business demographics.

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