Design services industry sees sluggish recovery

Construction News

Design services industry sees sluggish recovery

Beaumont Partners Co, a local architectural and interior design firm, expects foreign clients to remain cautious in their spending on design services for the next few months, if not years, due to an absence of confidence caused by the recent political unrest.

Yupa Chongpatiyutt, a company partner, said that despite the improved political situation, it was proving difficult to regain the confidence of clients, particularly foreign companies wanting to expand their operations in Thailand.

Significant hesitation in office expansion has been seen in the corporate market. Some had planned at the start of the year to expand in Thailand before delaying their decisions amid the political violence.

“Companies with other foreign units have instead tended to expand their operations and move their people into neighbouring countries that are more stable,” said Ms Yupa. “They don’t know when they may face hindrances again if they invest here.”

Some investors may keep their interests in Thailand and continue to invest but with lower budgets.

“They’ll take their grand investments to nearby countries while Thailand will see smaller project sizes,” said Ms Yupa.

She said it was hard to predict whether confidence would return next year.

“The current environment is not reassuring; we must be prepared for the next unexpected occurrence, such as putting an IT system in place so we can continue our work in case of disruption.”

More than 90% of Beaumont Partners’ portfolio this year consists of renovation projects as clients continue to delay investing in new projects.

Being less affected by the political turmoil, the education sector offers bright prospects to help offset the poor sentiment of the corporate market for the company this year, with continuous expansion and renovation of schools, particularly in less sensitive areas upcountry. Clients include Bangkok Patana and St Andrews international schools.

The company also pins its focus on flourishing mid-sized projects this year, such as local property developments. Pruksa Real Estate is among such clients.

Beaumont Partners is also looking to tap more projects abroad to reduce domestic risk, particularly by maintaining a close relationship with existing clients, Ms Yupa said. It now has projects in India, Morocco and Malaysia.

The company forecasts 10% revenue growth to 275 million baht this year.

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