Kier shares dip as group reveals £35.5m loss in Q2 2018

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Kier has revealed it fell to a pre-tax loss of £35.5m in the second half of 2018 after it was hit by growing debts

Kier made a £35.5m loss in the six months to the end of December 2018, after a profit before tax of £34.3m in the same period in 2017.

The group’s revenue grew by just 3% year on year to £2.06bn while the business managed to cut its debt by £58m, leaving a net debt of £108.5m.

Its average month-end net debt for the period was £430m.

Kier was struck by a £25m provision on its beleaguered Broadmoor Hospital project and £26m on a disputed waste collection contract which has been cut short.

The Future Proofing Kier restructuring programme set up by former chief executive Haydn Mursell cost another £10m during the period.

Despite this, Kier expects to net £20m in savings over the impending financial year.

The group also pointed to an underlying profit of £51.8m.

Commenting on the outlook, executive chairman Philip Cox said: “Our regional building and property development businesses continue to operate well, although we are experiencing some volume pressures in the highways, utilities and housing maintenance markets.

“The group has a significantly strengthened balance sheet following the completion of the rights issue in December 2018. The board continues to focus on simplifying the group, improving cash flow generation and net debt reduction, and forecasts a net cash position at 30 June 2019.

“Whilst the board notes the current political and economic uncertainty in the UK, and the implications for third-party investment, the group is maintaining its underlying FY19 expectations, with the full-year results being weighted towards the second half of the financial year, as expected.”

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