New Kier chief sets ambitious target for profit growth

Aaron Morby 8 years ago
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New Kier chief executive Haydn Mursell has put his stamp on the business just days after taking over from Paul Sheffield.

Mursell has set the major contractor on a course to deliver double-digit compound annual profit growth over the next five years.

He said full details of the ambitious growth plan will be unveiled in the next few days.

As part of the drive, Mursell is rolling all the group’s housing activities into a new single brand called Kier Living.

A single management team will oversee the Kier Living brand, which will be responsible for residential contracting, affordable housing and private house building offerings.

In a trading statement ahead of annual results for July 2014, he said Kier had secured a strong pipeline of orders across its main operating divisions.

“The construction division has experienced a good second half with an encouraging level of opportunities,” said Mursell.

“Operating margins remain stable at around 2% and the order book of secured or probable work at approximately £2.6bn, represents approximately 90% of anticipated revenue for the year to 30 June 2015.”

Likewise, the services business’ order book provides long-term visibility of revenue at £3.6bn, representing 85% of forecast services revenue for the year to 30 June 2015 .

“Operating margins for the full year across the division will exceed 4.5%, in line with expectations,” added Mursell.

He said that Kier’s strategy to increase penetration into the housing association and private rental markets was paying off with several new contracts.

Mursell took up the reins from Sheffield at the start of this month after four years as group finance director.

Prior to joining Kier, Mursell held senior roles at Balfour Beatty and Bovis Lend Lease.

Phil White, Kier Group chairman, said: “Haydn was a driving force behind our acquisition of May Gurney and he has played an integral role in enabling the business to reap the rewards of that strategic investment.

“This combined with his earlier experience at Balfour Beatty and Bovis Lend Lease gives him exceptional credentials. It is an exciting time for the group and I am very much looking forward to working with him.”

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