Australian engineering business Laing O’Rouke suffered a £246m loss following poor performance of a £1.3bn joint venture with a hospital project in Canada. In a statement released in December, by group executive chairman, Ray O’Rourke said “It is with humility that I have to report our first loss in 15 years of trading as Laing O’Rourke.”
He added “We all know that when recession starts, our industry in particular enters a race to the bottom – regrettably Laing O’Rourke joined in.”
O’Rourke put its Australian business up for sale nearly a year ago after revealing that they had a pre-tax loss of £58m at its European business, however group performance was salvaged after the Australian side managed to deliver an overall £52m group pre-tax profit. Rumours now indicate that the Australian arm of the business has been taken off the market after failing to find a buyer.
In a statement from March 2016, O’Rourke said “I want to assure all of our stakeholders that our company is adequately financed, has returned to profit in FY17 and is therefore well-positioned to move forward from these less than satisfactory results.”
The group is now expected to have a slow return to revenue growth, with revenue returning to 2015’s level of around £3.8bn by the end of 2016 and £4bn in 2020.
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