O’Rourke gets rid of 3,500 staff as revenue dives

Grant Prior 12 years ago
Share

More than 3,500 people left Laing O’Rourke last year as the firm shed staff as turnover dropped 15% to £4.3bn.

The firm’s annual results to March 31 2010 show staff numbers across the group fell 3,537 to 19,688 worldwide.

The vast majority of workers were let go at O’Rourke’s Middle East arm where turnover dropped dramatically from £903m to £423m.

The Middle East arm reports alongside the European and South Asia divisions.

The workforce at the combined unit fell by 3,989 as extra workers were taken on at the Australasia division.

The drop in staff numbers saw annual wages costs slashed by £48.7m while redundancy costs were only £16.7m.

Confusion surrounded the total number of redundancies because of the way O’Rourke reported its staff levels the previous year.

Employee numbers as of March 2009 were reported as 35,753 which would have meant 17,500 staff were let go during the year.

But the 2009 figure included workers employed by joint ventures including the ALDAR operation in Abu Dhabi which has been wound down.

Chairman Ray O’Rourke was still bullish about future prospects despite the downturn and vowed not to get caught-up in low bidding wars to win work.

He said: “We will stay committed to our policy of absolute refusal to follow the market down by chasing unprofitable work”

The drop in staff levels helped an improvement in profit margins to 10.1% as pre-tax profits remained steady at £110m.

O’Rourke said:As a direct employer, the year proved our most challenging ever, with a significant number of people leaving the group as we took decisive action to align business costs with current and anticipated workload.

“The majority of this decline was directly attributable to the removal of workload associated with the ALDAR joint venture in Abu Dhabi, and the steep decline in the Dubai market, where many projects were operationally paused.

“Similarly, in our UK businesses, we right-sized operations in response to the slowdown in the construction sector.”

O’Rourke believes workloads will improve later next year and the firm has implemented a growth strategy to 2020.

He said: “As current market conditions show limited signs of easing in the short term, the Group’s commitment to safety, proven strategy, integrated capabilities, attractive opportunities, rigorous and disciplined capital management and motivated employees mean we are quietly optimistic in our abilities to do what it takes to create value for all our stakeholders over the long term.”

Latest news

Andy Milner to return as chief executive of Amey

Milner to return to his old CEO role which he previously held for four years
9 hours ago

Green light for UK’s first carbon capture power station

Keadby 3 gas power station and carbon capture to see £2.1bn investment in North Lincolnshire
15 hours ago

Unite passes union hotel job probe findings to police

Independent reports raise concerns of ‘potential criminality’ around union's £100m hotel and conference centre
1 day ago

Berkeley to slow down investment as sales rates fall

Housing giant to focus on matching construction to demand on existing sites
15 hours ago

Competition concerns about rail signalling takeover

Hitachi’s purchase of Thales’ rail infrastructure could lead to higher fares in future, the CMA has found.
14 hours ago

Plans lodged for Manchester student tower and offices

Plans lodged for £250m One Medlock Street mixed-use office and student scheme
22 hours ago

Glasgow civil engineer banned for £100k Bounce Back Loan abuse

Sole director handed 11-year ban for falsely claiming two loans for personal gain
1 day ago

Plans go in for 250,000 sq ft York mixed-use scheme

Local developer pushes ahead with regeneration project in heart of the city
16 hours ago

McLaren tops November contracts league

Excel exhibition centre £200m phase 3 wins lifts McLaren to pole position for contract wins last month
2 days ago

Former Wates CEO joins Mace as new financial chief

David Allen replaces Richard Bienfait who stepped down in September
2 days ago

M25 to go green under new Shell and Balfour deal

New trial of paving on UK's busiest motorway
2 days ago

Bidders wanted for £125m painting and decorating framework

Apply now for latest Fusion21 deal
2 days ago

Robertson wins first MIM-funded Welsh school job

£65m Flintshire school campus project first to use Welsh mutual investment model
2 days ago

Willmott Dixon wins £130m Broadwater Farm estate revamp

Green light for north London estate transformation
2 days ago

Materials giant CRH looks to sell contractor Farrans

More than 550 staff set to get new owner
3 days ago

West Yorkshire transport projects delayed to save £270m

Over 30 transport schemes to be placed on hold due to cost inflation budget pressure
3 days ago

Decision on A1 Costain dualling job delayed for third time

Development consent decision for £260m Northumberland scheme put back a further 9 months
3 days ago

Colas wins £140m Cheshire highways upkeep deal

Incumbent contractor Ringway will handover to Colas in April
3 days ago

Skanska to lend staff cash

Contractor links-up with finance firm to offer affordable loans to employees
3 days ago

Ilke Homes pulls off £100m record-breaking fund raise

Largest-ever capital raise by a UK modular house builder to fund expansion
3 days ago

Construction buyers fear for year ahead

"Construction companies now have a tightrope to walk in terms of being ready for recovery and cautious around investment"
3 days ago

Gove calls for competition probe into house building

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill 'strengthened' with new measures
4 days ago

Schools get £500m for energy upgrades this winter

Extra cash found for better heating controls, insulation and energy efficient lighting
4 days ago

1,000-home North London scheme approved

Developer Hill will start work in the Spring on South Tottenham site
4 days ago

Bid race for £500m Suffolk construction framework

Construction and building services firms called up for East of England four year deal
4 days ago

Mace employs robot dog to avoid slip and trips in tunnel

Robot working in dark and hazardous conditions under Heathrow Airport
4 days ago

Administrator details confirmed at Southampton M&E firm

Begbies Traynor now in charge at Working Environments as suppliers face large losses
4 days ago

Former Galliard chief takes helm at Inland Homes

New CEO Don O'Sullivan sets out to return south east house builder to profitability
4 days ago

Applicant numbers nosedive for construction vacancies

Recruitment market gets even more competitive - how the Enquirer can help
4 days ago

Industry veteran to head Henry Bros northern arm

Peter Commins, former Kier and Balfour Beatty northern chief, to spearhead growth drive
4 days ago

Contractor services