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Another 350 to go as Laing continues to suffer from past

CONTRACTOR JOHN Laing is planning a £15M shake up of its construction arm this year, said divisional chairman Jim Armstrong last week.

Laing has already shed 500 staff this year and plans to cut another 350 jobs by the year end.

Cuts and losses on contracts pushed first half construction losses up from £5M last year to £19M in the six months to June.

Armstrong said the losses were the result of 'ill judged' contracts taken on in 1998.

Laing has since replaced its construction division board and focused activities around bases in Hemel Hempsted and Manchester. It is also becoming even more selective about work taken on (NCE 4 November 1999).

Laing Group's half year pretax profits increased from £16.4M last year to £28.9M on turnover up from £771.6M to £803.5M. Group figures were boosted by a strong performance in housing.

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