Morgan Sindall set to miss target

Shares in Morgan Sindall fell this morning as the diverse developer-contractor that owns Muse, Overbury and Lovell described a deteriorating market and reshuffled its senior management.

John Morgan, founder and executive chairman, will take over as chief executive following the departure of Paul Smith from the post.

The board announced the appointment of Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, as a non-executive director.

Morgan Sindall has undertaken a review of its operations and closed smaller offices to focus delivery through regional hub offices, such as in Salford Quays.

In an interim management statement the company said: "Since the half year we have experienced further market deterioration, which has impacted the short-term outlook for the group into 2013. However the group's confidence in the medium-term outlook from 2014 onwards has increased through its success in securing a number of longer-term opportunities in growing sectors of the market."

Shares in the group fell by 36p, or 5%, to 624p this morning.

The statement continued: "Economic conditions have remained difficult during the period, and the UK construction market continues to face challenges including further reductions in public spending, deferred investment decisions and high levels of competition. Against this backdrop, the board expects underlying trading for this year to be slightly below previous expectations before taking into account a £7m gain from the sale of the group's medical property interests in July."

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