Cost reductions placing Kier Group on road to recovery

Kier Group has today reported a pre-tax loss and decline in interim revenue although its cost reduction efforts are paying dividends.

Cost reductions placing Kier Group on road to recovery

Andrew Davies

In the six months to 31st December 2019 the construction and property group made a pre-tax loss of £41.2 million, a marginal improvement on the £45.3m first-half loss of the previous year. Revenue of £1.866 billion was 8.0% lower than the year before (£2.053bn).

Net debt increased to £242.5m from £180.5m.

Chief executive Andrew Davies said Kier’s cost cutting programme is expected to save it around £65m from lower overheads by June 2021 and was keen to emphasise a 3.4% increase in operating profit to £30.7m “before exceptionals”.

Mr Davies said: “I am pleased to report that many of the actions we outlined at the beginning of the year have been executed successfully. In particular, the decisive cost actions we have taken are now benefiting the group and have more than compensated for the challenging market conditions we experienced in the period. These actions resulted in an increase of 3.4% in operating profit before exceptionals and the impact of IFRS 16.

“The group has been awarded places on several major frameworks since 1 January 2020, following the awards of c.£1.7bn in the period, and the government has recently confirmed that the HS2 project will proceed.

“We have a new executive management team in place; we are continuing to embed Performance Excellence; and our cost reduction programme is expected to deliver benefits of at least £65m by 30 June 2021.

“We expect to reduce the capital invested in our non-core businesses and to progress the sale of Living. The work to re-shape the group continues, as we focus on executing our strategic priorities and reducing net debt.”

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