Light at the end of the tunnel as Hochtief loses £21m


Hochtief UK Construction Ltd has announced a loss of £21.5m for 2018.

The UK subsidiary of international construction firm Hochtief attributed the loss to ‘the continuation of a number of loss-making projects’.

Hochtief was part of the consortium that built the Queensferry Crossing

Turnover during the year fell by 30% from £100m to £70m.

Writing in the firm's annual report and financial statements, managing director Lawrence Jackson said: ‘The firm is being selective in its tender activities ensuring that new works contain an acceptable level of risk and reward.

He added: ‘The focus of the business is on stability and controlled growth, ensuring that new work carries the right risk profile and commercial terms. The group continues to support the minority of loss-making projects to completion.

‘The company continues to focus on its core business activities of infrastructure improvements in the rail and highways sectors, involvement in the energy sector as well as major projects, in line with a five-year strategic business plan.’

The firm’s forward order book at year-end was £61.6m. This is down on the 2017 figure of £89.1m.

Staff numbers at the firm fell during the year from 247 to 217, which Mr Lawrence attributed to restructuring and the completion of projects.

He said the group’s year-end cash balance was a ‘healthy’ £12m (up from £6.8m).

Hochtief was part of the consortium that lost out in the bidding for the £1bn Silvertown Crossing but subsequently challenged the award in court in a case that remains unresolved.

On Monday the firm announced that it had been awarded a £400m contract to deliver the second phase of the London Power Tunnels project as part of a 50/50 joint venture with J. Murphy & Sons.

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