Skanska's sigh of relief over £1bn contract win
Skanska, the Swedish contractor operating in the UK for the past decade, has been named as preferred bidder for the £1bn Essex Building Schools for the Future contract. Construction News reported that Skanska, the sixth biggest contractor in Europe, beat Carillion to the job.
The news marks a shift in fortunes for the company which had signalled the possibility of redundancies earlier this year in an internal staff memo.
The contract, which is one of the biggest offered under the BSF programme, will see 80 secondary schools in Essex rebuilt or refurbished over 15 years. The first phase, worth £150m, will involve work on eight schools. Work on the first schools is due to be completed by 2012.
Mike Putnam, chief executive of Skanska UK, told Building that 2010 had started “on a brilliant note”. He was speaking at the annoucement of the contractor's results, which saw a broadly flat turnover of £1.5bn for the year ending 31 December 2009, Operating profit stood at £38.9m, which was an improvement on a loss of £43m for the 12 months to December 2008.
“I am very pleased with these results. They are in line with our targets and evidence of the work we have undertaken to put our past behind us and get the business back on track,” Putnam said.
In January this year, Putnam had warned staff in an email that they could face redundancies if the company failed to win major contracts, including the Essex bid.
Skanska is in consortium with IT and communication systems providers RM. Steve Cooper, Skanska RM's development director for education, said: “Everyone at Skanska RM is delighted with this announcement. Now the hard work begins and we look forward to a long-term partnership with Essex County Council to deliver the schools for the future.”
In a separate piece of good news for Skanska, Building reported that a Costain and Skanska joint venture has won the contract to build Crossrail’s Royal Oak Portal, which is the largest job on Crossrail’s enabling works framework.
The package, which is part of the civils element of early works, will see the joint venture construct a tunnel portal west of Paddington in London.