Australia’s largest contractor, Cimic Group, has appointed Juan Santamaria as chief executive and managing director as the firm announced a US$1.2bn loss due to its decision to exit the Middle East and sell its 45% stake in Dubai-based BIC Contracting – formerly Habtoor Leighton Group.
The company’s 2019 results show that outside of it’s Middle East woes, it has $538m in net profit after tax and $1.14bn in operating cash flow.
Cimic’s shares fell 20% following the announcement that it would leave the Middle East. Last year, the company had $1.1bn wiped off its market value after a Hong Kong financial research company claimed it had inflated profits with "aggressive" accounting techniques.
Santamaria previously worked as CPB Contractors’ managing director. He will take over from Michael Wright tomorrow, 5 February; Wright will take an undisclosed management role with Cimic.
Marcelino Fernández Verdes, Cimic’s group executive chairman, said: "Juan is a highly regarded leader with more than 18 years’ experience managing diverse businesses within our sectors
"A civil engineer, Juan has extensive experience in construction, services and PPPs and a long history of high performance within the Group, including in his current position leading CPB Contractors and his previous role leading UGL."
Juan Santamaria, said: "I’d like to thank Michael for his dedication and achievements during his time as chief executive. With almost 25 years’ experience in our group, the board and I are pleased that Michael’s expertise will be retained within our business."
Image: One of BIC Contracting’s projects is the main construction works for Fakeeh Academic Medical Center at Silicon Oasis, Dubai (BIC Contracting)