Client collapse tips Dawnus into the red

Aaron Morby 7 months ago
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Dawnus Construction ran up £1.2m of pre-tax losses last year after being hit by a drawn-out legal battle and client insolvency on a project.

Hotel in Poole is now complete and operates as a travelodge

Nicholas Down, group managing director, said the company had performed well over last year, focusing on building a strong customer base with a target of 80% of revenue from Government funded clients.

This was achieved by March this year, but the focus and belt-tightening saw revenue slide 17% to £119m.

The group would have returned a reasonable profit but was hit by costs from a long-running contract dispute.

“Subsequent to the year end the company has had to recognise significant write-downs on certain completed contracts where client solvency and the potential for substantial legal costs led to the directors taking the decision to write back carrying values by £3.1m leading to the loss,” said Down.

“The company no-longer contracts with clients of this nature and this write-down is one-off in nature,” he added.

The 2017 accounts do not name the project.

Although Dawnus has been wrapped up in protracted legal battles with a client over a 245-bed hotel complex in Poole in Dorset.

Back in 2015 work was halted on the £7m project when a pile struck high voltage power cables alerting Dawnus that drawings supplied by Scottish Electric Power Distribution were incorrect, leading to 30-week delay.

Disputes later arose and there were four adjudications with the hotel project client Marsh Life. Dawnus was ultimately forced to seek enforcement action for around £1.5m in the High Court only to see the local client then collapse into liquidation last summer.

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