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Cost cutting Costain axes 120 jobs

COSTAIN IS to shed 120 jobs in a bid to cut £10M from its off-site costs in the next two years, chief executive John Armitt admitted last week.

The contractor's balance sheet returned to the black for the first time since 1993 with a slender pre-tax profit of £500,000 on a turnover of £392M.

But its engineering and construction activities continued to make a loss of £2.4M due to delays on last year's joint venture with Hochtief to build Deutsche Bank's London headquarters.

Armitt said the company was reorganising to 'create greater efficiencies and increased responsiveness in the future.'

UK civil engineering and construction operations have been merged into one division. The group's headquarters will be moved from London to its Maidenhead offices, with only the ground floor of the London office retained for construction staff.

The Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool offices will be consolidated into one and the Hong Kong and Middle East offices will both be reduced in scale.

Job losses would be across the board, said Armitt. 'Part of our objective is to drive some of our activities from our offices back onto site,' he added.

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