Oxnard construction firm leans on LAX for revenue gains
By Annabelle Blair
Staff Writer (Pacific Coast Business Times)
Underground utility service provider Blois Construction comes in No. 35 on this year’s list with a 61.3 percent threeyear growth rate.
The second generation family-owned business saw revenues of $215 million in 2016, $27 million in 2017 and $34.7 million in 2018.
The increase in revenue is largely due to work the Oxnard-based business secured with Los Angeles International Airport, said Dan Moore, director of finance and risk management. LAX is undergoing an extensive upgrade and ex – pansion ahead of the 2028 Olympics in LA, and Blois has capitalized on that for a few different projects.
Currently, the construction business is working on a midfield terminal at the airport, setting up both dry and wet underground utilities.
“That is our largest project,” Moore said, adding that it will be completed over the next few months with an estimated cost of $20 million. The construction company is also working on a joint venture at the airport with other providers to increase access to airport rentals.
Blois will keep busy with the LAX expansion, Moore said, estimating that those projects will average $15 million to $20 million over next 2-3 years. It also plans to pick up infrastructure work needed for 2028 Olympics readiness as well as services to Los Angeles’ water district and utility lines. The city of LA has a backlog of work, Moore said. Those projects will likely be contracted out over the next couple decades, and Blois is looking to glean some of that business.
“I think we’ve changed focus a little bit,” Moore said of the company’s business strategy that landed it on the Business Time’s list of Fastest Growing Companies in the Tri-Counties. “We focused our work on larger, more complex projects,” he added.
With tight labor markets across the U.S. and worker shortages in the construction field, a key strategy has been focusing on larger “deep dive” projects, Moore said, and subcontracting tasks out as needed within those projects.
“That’s elevated our revenue,” Moore said. Landing a few larger projects, like the LAX one, has enabled the company to see how it handles bigger bites as it develops a more robust portfolio.
Blois was founded in Goleta by Bob Blois in 1956, and the office was moved to Oxnard in 1997. Bob’s son, Jim Blois, currently serves as president and CEO, and the company is looking to open an office in LA, Moore said.
As it continues to take on projects with increasing revenue, Moore said Blois will focus on hiring people on the project management side of the business. Many new hires are people from out-of-state who are interested in returning to Ventura County, he said. Over the past nine years, Blois has carried a high employee retention average, Moore said. In the Tri-Counties it has 110 employees.