Lend Lease turns back on low margin contracts

Grant Prior 8 years ago
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Lend Lease made a pre-tax loss of £11.7m across its European construction division during the last six months of 2013 as the firm pulled out of Spain and the UK operation was hit by restructuring costs.

Turnover dipped to £282.5m from £317.9m but Lend Lease leaders have seen a pick-up since the turn of the year as they refuse to chase low return contracts.

The UK restructuring cost around £1m but the business now has an £800m pipeline of work focused on key sectors.

Lend Lease Chief  Financial Officer EMEA Victoria Quinlan told the Enquirer: “We have a much better future outlook of work.

“Last year we made a conscious decision not to bid for anything without a suitable risk/reward profile and we suffered for that.

“But we didn’t want to prolong the pain of having those type of contracts on our books.

“You hear about 1% and 0.5% margins on jobs but I can’t see us ever going for that type of work.”

Lend Lease is seeing a surge of work come through for its own development arm including jobs like the Elephant & Castle regeneration scheme in south London which will hit peak construction in 2016.

Quinlan said work for external clients would always provide the majority of turnover but internal work could hit 20% this year.

She said: “We are not just going to build for our internal pipeline – that’s not our model.

“Work for external clients will always be the lion’s share of the business.

“We want to work with knowledgeable clients, not clients you are constantly fighting with.”

Lend Lease currently employs around 1,500 staff in the UK.

 

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