Keller offers UK staff jobs down under to avoid cuts

Aaron Morby 11 years ago
Share

Keller is scaling back its UK foundations business even further as workloads dry up.

Directors have offered to redeploy staff in Australia where the group is expanding on the back of piling demand from ports and mining projects.

So far several key staff have jumped at the opportunity and more are expected to follow.

In recent years the UK business has shrunk compared to the rest of the group as workloads fell and Keller expanded internationally.

Staff numbers are down to 400 from around 600 before the recession hit.

In the last six months the UK side failed to break into the black again with losses of £100,000 compared to a loss of  £400,000 during the first half of 2009.

Sales dipped 8% to £28.1m, meaning the UK now accounts for  less than 6% of total group turnover.

Chairman Roy Franklin said: “The UK market remains very challenging and our UK business has been further downsized to reflect this.

“Where possible, skilled people are being considered for transfer to other parts of the group, such as Australia, where demand remains high.”

Keller’s main job in this country is a piling contract for Crossrail at London’s Tottenham Court Road station.

Across the group falling demand and tough competition in the US, where it is market leader, saw half-year pre-tax profits plummet nearly three quarters to £11.3m. Sales also slid to £497m from £553m last time.

Group margins now stand at 2.8% compared to 7.7% in the comparable period in 2009.

Around a third of Keller’s revenue now comes from Australia and other developing markets.

“The first half has been a challenging period for the Group particularly in the US, where the construction market continued to deteriorate.

“However, we have been encouraged by the progress made in our developing markets, where we have continued our success of recent years in profitably growing our business.

“This demonstrates the benefit of our strategy of geographic diversification, to which we remain fully committed.”

In Australia demand for resources from China and the rest of Asia is fueling development.

Australian revenue rose to £80.7m (2009: £62.8m) and operating profit reached £8m, compared to £6.2m in the first half last year.   On a constant currency basis, both revenue and operating profit were up 5% on last year.

Latest news

M1 fraud probe reveals contract management problems

M1 J13-16 investigation finds £320,000 of central barrier scrap metal went ‘missing
49 mins ago

Beaumont Morgan Developments goes into administration

Begbies Traynor now in charge of £47m turnover Manchester contractor
54 mins ago

Green light for major overhaul of Surrey pharma campus

Kier and Mace in bidding revamp project with three storey glulam building at its heart
1 hour ago

Morgan Sindall hires Crossrail safety director

Carole Bardell-Wise joins infrastructure business as SHEQ Director.
1 hour ago

Galliford Try bags £28m Dover inland border control facility

Major inland border facility to be built alongside the A2 outside of Dover
15 mins ago

Roofer dies in six metre plunge through asbestos sheets

Court hears no safety nets were fitted on site
19 hours ago

Subbies stop working for Beaumont Morgan Developments

Manchester based contractor was delivering Fortis Quay for associate development company
1 day ago

Gove threatens ban on cladding suppliers failing to pay for retrofits

Cladding and insulation suppliers now in firing line for cash for £9bn post-Grenfell remediation bill
1 day ago

Bill for £22bn HS2 extension to Manchester goes to Parliament

52-mile extension of HS2 to Manchester via Manchester Airport will support 17,500 construction jobs
1 day ago

Galliard scoops up trio of sites for schemes worth £265m

Sites in Redbridge, Ipswich and Milton Keynes to be developed
24 hours ago

Plans in for 350-flat Salford student scheme

Developer X1 hopes to start 15-storey building later this year
1 day ago

Green light for Birmingham Paradise landmark hotel

17-storey hotel will be the 'cornerstone' of Phase 2
4 days ago

Structural steel price jumps another £50 a tonne

British Steel blames New Year's price hike on continuing high product costs
4 days ago

Enabling works start at £400m Manchester First Street

Downing to start main construction in March of three resi buildings rising up to 45 storeys
4 days ago

Former BAM Nuttall chief to join Murphy

Adrian Savory to start new role as director of Major Projects division next month
4 days ago

Bouygues set for London Tustin Estate 700-home rebuild

Phased building programme to start towards the end of the year
4 days ago

Safety horror show on housing site leads to director ban

Court hears contractor ignored multiple prohibition and improvement notices
4 days ago

JV North calls up local firms for £250m new home works

Framework for home building projects worth up to £2m
4 days ago

Kier more than halves debts to below £200m

Kier chief reports steady progress in first six months of trading
5 days ago

Barhale boosts funds as it looks to rebuild turnover

Contractor confident as water companies ramp-up spending plans
5 days ago

HS2 labour agency looks to float on AIM

£23m turnover labour supply business looks to raise funds for expansion
5 days ago

Kane scores £29m M&E deal with Willmott Dixon

Off site works to play crucial role in major London estate contract
5 days ago

Graham secures third Audley retirement village

Work starts on Audley Villages site at Scarcroft, West Yorkshire.
5 days ago

Keltbray wins first deal for former nmcn infrastructure arm

Hull waste processing contract for rescued division
6 days ago

50 firms win £750m decarbonisation framework

Fusion21 framework to target 'whole building' works on homes and schools
6 days ago

Balfour Beatty UK construction MD to step down

Tom Edgcumbe to depart after just over a year as MD construction services in England and Wales
6 days ago

Crest Nicholson trebles cladding retrofit provisions to £43m

House builder revises building safety retrofit costs in face of new Government guidance
6 days ago

BAM bags £110m refurb of iconic Covent Garden tower

Landmark Seifert-designed 15-storey Space House to get two extra floors
7 days ago

Winvic to start UK’s largest speculative shed

Ellesmere Port warehouse understood to be worth around £80m
6 days ago

Kier signs deal for £169m Luton hospital revamp

Main construction work to start this month and last until 2024
6 days ago

Contractor services