Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Share suspension cost Costain £70M

COSTAIN MISSED out on turnover worth £70M in 1997 because its shares were suspended for most of the year, chief executive John Armitt said last week. But the contractor transformed its financial performance, substantially reducing pretax losses.

Costain's shares were suspended for 12 months from November 1996 as it put together a refinancing deal. Armitt said this stopped it from getting onto some tender lists and hampered efforts to return its engineering and construction division to profit.

Results published last week showed that the Costain group cut pretax losses from £62.3M in 1996 to just £7.4M last year. Turnover fell from £745M to £571M partly as a result of the sale of its US Mining division, which contributed £163.1M to turnover in 1996, but only £11.5M before its sale in 1997.

Engineering and construction made an operating loss of £800,000 compared to losses of £20.3M in 1996.

Armitt said that last year's losses resulted from carrying staff on the expectation of higher orders. This year he is stripping £8M of overheads in a drive to return to profit.

Andrew Bolton

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.