Laing O’Rourke, the UK’s third largest contractor, confirmed today that it had agreed terms with its lenders for the refinance of its UK business.
The firm said the deal, which was agreed over the Christmas period, is now undergoing "final credit approval protocols and documentation by each lender organisation". When this is complete, its credit will be assured until 2022, the company said.
A pioneer of modern methods of construction on the British scene, Laing O’Rourke has suffered heavy losses in recent years, including £61m after tax in the year ending 31 March 2017, and £220m in the previous financial year.
It is now finalising its year-end accounts for 2018, which had been delayed by three months owing to what it described as "historic turbulence in the construction sector".
Ray O’Rourke, the company’s chief executive, said in a press statement: "I am delighted to be able to update our stakeholders on the progress of the refinancing exercise. These agreements reflect an enormous amount of work by the banks, sureties, advisors and our people.
"Having achieved this important milestone as we enter the new calendar year, I want to take the opportunity to thank our clients and supply chain partners for their support and patience. As noted in October last year, and well publicised across the sector since, financing and regulatory processes in UK construction are not simple for any business at present. The entire sector has been impacted. This remains an issue of critical national importance and concern for 2019."
He added that the company would continue its commitment to improving the poor productivity record of the UK industry using "off-site manufacturing, data analysis and modern procurement practices", and he called on the UK government to support the industry’s drive to reform its working methods.
The company agreed a refinancing deal for its troubled Australian business in July last year.
Image: Ray O’Rourke (Laing O’Rourke)