Covid plunges Multiplex construction arm to £158m loss

Aaron Morby 3 years ago
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Multiplex Europe’s construction business suffered a £158m pre-tax loss last year mainly down to the impact of Covid.

Chief operating officer Callum Tuckett said Multiplex still managed to end year with £26m of cash
Chief operating officer Callum Tuckett said Multiplex still managed to end year with £26m of cash

The London tower builder reported that revenue sank nearly a third to £599m as it was hit by delays in the commencement of new work and productivity reducing on projects resulting in less work performed in the year.

Chief operating officer Callum Tuckett attributed £149m of Multiplex Construction Europe’s overall losses to the pandemic, in newly published results.

These broke down into £82m of higher project costs and a further £67m of impairments from Covid.

He said that although the impact of Covid was material to the business, Multiplex Construction Europe had not required any external funding to date and had managed the liquidity requirement through internal resilience measures.

Tuckett added: “We ended the year with £26m of cash, after considering the cash costs incurred due to Covid-19, this is a strong result.”

Multiplex’s order book at the end of 2020 stood at £2.5bn, including seven residential projects worth £2bn, three offices worth £300m and education projects valued at £200m.

Tuckett added that despite the setbacks of last year, Multiplex continued to tender and win major new schemes.

He said: “We have secured an additional £650m of new work in the first three months of 2021. This includes the £400m redevelopment of the Grade II listed US Embassy building in Mayfair, London as well as a new 35 storey office tower in the City of London at 1 Leadenhall.

“These project wins, combined with our strong pipeline, underpin our turnover and profitability expectations going forward.”

Over the last year average staff headcount dropped from 850 to around 800.

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