Kier housing arm slumps amid covid-19 pandemic
Kier’s private housebuilding arm Kier Living saw revenue plunge by 53% in 2020, which it has blamed on the covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Revenue for the year to 30 June 2020 was £55m, down from £118m the previous year. The company, which Kier has been marketing for sale since 2019, delivered 307 plots, less than half the 717 it delivered in 2019. There was also a 25% reduction in the number of plots it delivered in joint venture in 2020, down to 746, compared to 995 in 2019.
Kier Living shut down in March 2020 in response to covid-19 and re-opened in a very limited manner in May 2020. It identified a total of £4.4m in direct costs as a result of the pandemic.
During the year, the company decided to rationalise its operating model, exiting fixed price build contracts, at a cost of £22.3m. It has also rationalised its geographical operations, taking a £5.5m impairment after it halted or exited development in Cornwall, Wales and the North. During the year, it cut 52 jobs, with another 111 shortly after the year end, resulting in redundancy costs of £2.2m.