Sellafield supplier calls in accountants and wins HS2 contract

Carillion logo.
Carillion logo.
Monday, July 17, 2017 at 10:46AM

Infrastructure giant Carillion has drafted in accountancy giant EY to help carry out a review of the business as it fights for its survival.

EY and Carillion will focus on "cost reduction and cash collection" following a torrid seven days for the firm.

Last week it suffered a dramatic collapse in its share price after announcing a profit warning which saw almost £600m wiped from its value.

Carillion is a leading supplier to Sellafield and has an office in Moor Row.

Interim chief executive Keith Cochrane said: "We are moving forward quickly with the actions outlined last week.

"Alongside our own efforts, EY will provide support across the business and bring an external perspective to our cost reduction and cash collection challenge. My priorities are to reduce the group's net debt and create a balance sheet that will support Carillion going forward.

"We need to simplify the business and demonstrate that value can again be created for shareholders by focusing the group on its core markets, including infrastructure and property services, in which it has good strengths and leading positions"

Carillion's market capitalisation has gone into freefall, falling from £826m to around £24m in a matter of days after it warned over earnings and revealed an £845m write-off on construction contracts.

Chief executive Richard Howson stepped down with immediate effect a week ago as the group said it would need to bolster its balance sheet and was struggling to stay within its borrowing limits.

He has been replaced by Mr Cochrane on an interim basis while a search is undertaken for a permanent boss.

In better news for the firm, Carillion was named among the firms awarded contracts for the building of phase one of the HS2 rail line.

The deals are worth £6.6bn in total and will see tunnels, embankments and viaducts constructed between London and Birmingham.

Shares in Carillion jumped by more than seven per cent off the back of the contract awards to 60.1p, but still way off from the 191p they were trading at before the stock collapsed last week.

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