Kier narrows losses in ‘difficult year’ 

The construction firm reported a £225m pre-tax loss for the 12 months ended 30 June after the impact of Covid-19 marred the “good progress” Kier said it made in the first nine months of the year amid a cost-cutting drive.

The pre-tax loss reported for the full-year 2019 narrowed slightly from a £229m loss the previous financial year. 

In a stock market filing, Kier reported a 14% drop in revenue for the year, to £3.5bn from £4.1bn in June 2019, and the company’s net debt doubled to £310m from £167m, contributing to the overall loss. 

Kier Group’s chief executive Andrew Davies, said: “This financial year has been a difficult one for the group. The progress made in the first nine months, despite challenging market conditions, reflected the successful execution of many elements of our strategic plan, as we began to experience the benefits of the decisive cost reduction actions taken.  

“The effects of Covid-19 adversely impacted the group’s performance in the final three months of the financial year, as the business adapted to working under revised site operating procedures.” 

The group said it was trading in line with its expectations in the first half of the financial year when several contracts and transitioning frameworks concluded, but the Covid-19 pandemic reduced the amount of work the firm was able to undertake in the final three months to 30 June. 

The firm also said its results had been impacted by “substantial one-off costs” related to its restructuring strategy over the past 12 months. 

However, Davies said Kier had a “strong order book” of £7.9bn as of 30 June and that the current financial year had started in line with expectations. 

The group is “well placed to benefit from UK Government spending through established frameworks and other opportunities”, the stock market statement said. 

Kier will continue to work to “fix its balance sheet”, with a focus on deleveraging through cash generation, the planned sale of its Living subsidiary, and a potential equity raise, it added.  

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