Laing O’Rourke reduces losses to £63m in 2016-17

5 March 2018

The Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (

Laing O’Rourke suffered a £63.4m pretax loss for the year to 31 March 2017, according to its latest results.

The results show the outcome of the group’s turnaround programme, under which the firm has reduced losses from £242.7m in 2016.

Excluding exceptional items and joint venture results, O’Rourke returned an underlying profit of £35m, compared to a £82m loss in 2016. The group attributed this turnaround to a return to profitability in the core UK market.

But the firm was hit with continuing losses from joint ventures of £86.2m. Of this, £83.2m was on phase one of the problematic Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) in Canada, completed in October 2017.

O’Rourke says that it has continued to dispose of certain underperforming assets and investments and has taken further steps to reduce the remaining CHUM JV exposure in Canada.

Total revenue for the group was up 26% to £3,172.5m, from £2,513.2m in 2016 while looking ahead the firm said it has a global order book of more than £10bn.

Commenting on the results, Ray O’Rourke, group chief executive, said: “The group has responded strongly to recent challenges, not only by restructuring the UK business, but also through new processes and controls on project selection, operational delivery, digital data and risk and assurance.

“We have set a new strategic mission and are absolutely aligned with the UK government’s Industrial Strategy, which calls for construction to demonstrate productivity in line with the aviation and automotive engineering sectors by 2025. Indeed, our aim is to outperform that timetable, with our ongoing investments in advanced manufacturing leading a step-change in safety, quality safety and efficiency.

“It has been a difficult time for our sector, and recent events have only reinforced the importance of Laing O’Rourke’s early actions to redefine the business. Our leadership team across the group has been steadfast and their achievements remarkable.

“We will continue to build on this momentum, backed by recent high-profile project wins, to become the recognised leader for innovation and excellence in the construction industry."

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