Keller UK losses deepen as office work dwindles

Aaron Morby 12 years ago

Global piling contractor Keller reported losses at its UK business for the second-year running despite measures to cut costs.

Operating losses at the UK business deepened from £2.7m in 2010 to £3.7m in 2011 despite turnover edging up 8% to £53.6m.

Over the year, the UK business reduced its costs, with the closure of one office and the downsizing of another.

Despite these actions, Keller reported a loss in the UK, exacerbated by the impact of two legacy contracts.

But Keller hopes to see an uplift this year after its £37m Victoria Station Upgrade project and £31m contact for Crossrail started as anticipated at the end of last year.

Another Crossrail contract for the largest-ever restricted access piling project awarded in the UK, at Lord Hill’s Bridge 4 is progressing well.

The first phase requiring the installation of vertical piles is now complete. The more challenging second phase, which involves installing mini piles at up to 38-degree angles, is progressing well.

But Keller warned that it had seen a decline in house building and commercial work.

Across the rest of the group, pre-tax profits nearly halved to £22m on turnover slightly up at £1.15bn.

Keller at a glance

  • UK: loss £3.7m (2010: £2.5m); revenue £54m (2010: £50m)
  • America: profit £12m (2010: 6.9m); revenue £471m (2010: £425)
  • EMEA: profit £18m (2010: £19m): revenue £407m (2010: £400m)
  • Australia: profit £6.7m (2010: 19m); Revenue £222m (2010: £194m)

Justin Atkinson, Keller chief executive said: “These results reflect tough market conditions which remained very challenging throughout 2011, with the uncertain macro-economic outlook impeding any significant recovery in our mature construction markets – principally the US and Western Europe – and overcapacity maintaining pressure on margins.

“Overall, while the business is expected to show steady improvement in 2012, the year will not be without further challenges, particularly given the economic uncertainty and a slow start to the year in Europe.

“However, with signs of strengthening demand in certain of our key markets, an increased number of larger projects in the order book and with the benefits of our Group-wide business improvement initiatives starting to come through, we are confident that 2012 will be a year of progress.”

The UK is the only one of Keller’s global operating region’s still returning losses and from this year on will be incorporated into the European division for financial reporting purposes.

Latest news

Early bond release key to averting industry surety crisis

Contractors must put pressure on clients to release bonds promptly
2 days ago

Over 1000 building safety cladding retrofits completed

25% of safety retrofits finished seven years after Grenfell disaster
2 days ago

Steel import delays make Rangers miss kick-off

Construction work at Ibrox will not be finished by start of next season
3 days ago

Lidl looking for new contractors for store building plans

Sign up for events in Newcastle, Glasgow, Birmingham and Southampton
2 days ago

Utility firm GTC revs up for ground source heat pump era

Contractor and heat pump maker strikes ground-breaking deal
2 days ago

Amey switches kit supplier to Speedy from HSS

New plant and equipment hire deal worth £25m a year
3 days ago

Clients under spotlight after bond bombshell

Contractors call for action to avoid project delays
3 days ago

M&E specialist Lorne Stewart falls into the red

Parent group suffers £2.8m loss in face of cost inflation and insolvencies
3 days ago

Four men rushed to hospital after site accident

Eye-witnesses report a wall was knocked over on Edinburgh site
4 days ago

World’s tallest scissor lift set for UK sites

Hire Safe Solutions partners with Dingli to supply lift with working height of 37 metres
3 days ago

Barhale wins £36m East London sewer remediation

Northern Outfall Sewer in West Ham runs above railway lines in the city
3 days ago

Weston Homes thumbs-up for £220m Essex homes scheme

Colchester 600-home Viridis scheme gains outline consent
3 days ago

Balfour seals £192m deal for trio of Scottish substations

Work to start this summer to enhance electrical transmission in Argyll
4 days ago

Construction bond bombshell as major player quits market

QBE currently provides cover for 20 of the industry's 30 biggest contractors
4 days ago

United Utilities names another 18 winners for £2.7bn water spend

Water giant cuts out large management contractors in latest spending round
5 days ago

Green light for £130m Dundee Eden project

Former gasholder site to be transformed into green house
4 days ago

Four tower scheme in Glasgow gets green light

Go-ahead for major mixed-use scheme at Central Quay
4 days ago

‘Green collar’ construction workers earning £134,000

Cost consultant T&T says insulation and heat pump trades earning £70 an hour in London
4 days ago

£65m Trafford Waters resi blocks approved

X1 Developments plans over 200 homes in 13- and 8-storey blocks
4 days ago

Over 100 firms win £1.5bn ICN housing framework

Great Places Housing Group names key partners for new homes programme
5 days ago

Steelwork firm went down owing £4.5m to suppliers

Subcontractors left holding unpaid invoices from SH Structures
5 days ago

Scottish civils firm to buy stake in piling specialist

Advance Construction in talks for 25% stake in Northern Piling Ltd
5 days ago

RSK secures £500m for fresh acquisitions spree

Acquisitive group aims to buy another 200 businesses by 2030
6 days ago

Beal Homes gets green light for £105m Humber scheme

Work to start on more than 500 homes in North East Lincolnshire
5 days ago

RED wins £20m East London office refurb

Grade II listed Victorian building to be upgraded to Cat A offices
5 days ago

Employee-owned Neilcott staff share £250,000 payout

Employee-owned building contractor sales jump 38% to £139m
6 days ago

Geoffrey Osborne supply chain hit for £26m

More than 500 suppliers and subcontractors left holding unpaid bills
1 week ago

Race for £800m South West Wales framework

Up to 16 firms face fight to renew spots on regional contractors framework
7 days ago

SME contractors agree 4% pay rise for site workers

Workers will also get an extra day of holiday
1 week ago

South East expansion paying off for Meldrum Group

Turnover up to £55m as North East based contractor expands national coverage
6 days ago

Contractor services