Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building
  • 9 Jan 2017

Offsite work contributes to O'Rourke loss of £141m

Laing O’Rourke’s UK construction business suffered a pretax loss of £141.3m in its latest results.

In results filed for the year to March 2016 the contractor posted a pretax loss of £141.3m on a turnover of £1.11bn. In its previous year’s results, the company reported a pretax loss of £59.4m on revenue of £1.02bn.

The firm said work linked to its offsite prefabrication plant, specifically three Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) projects in the UK, contributed heavily to losses after incurring exceptional costs of £26.6m.

The company said the three schemes were “substantially redesigned to demonstrate the benefits of DfMA”, and added that all three projects were won in 2013 in “a particularly aggressive price-driven market”.

“As issues were encountered using new construction methods and lessons have been learned, these unusual circumstances are unlikely to recur on new contracts,” the firm added.

In December, Laing announced that its overall group business had slumped to a £246m loss, largely driven by losses on a number of jobs, including a huge hospital PFI contract in Canada.

In a letter founder Ray O’Rourke sent to clients and staff before Christmas he said the firm had taken steps to turn around its performance and was set to return to profit in the current financial year to March 2017.

Its has also dismissed rumours that it is in takeover talks with a Chinese contractor.

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