Mouchel reports full-year loss

By Helen Wright30 November 2011

UK-based construction support services group Mouchel conceded that 2011 had been a "disappointing and difficult" year after recording gross losses of £65 million (€76 million), deeper than the £15 million (€17 million) gross losses it reported for fiscal 2010.

Revenues fell 13% year-on-year to £551.4 million (€645 million), while the company's order book stood at £1.4 billion (€1.7 billion) for the year ended 31 July, 2011, compared to £1.8 billion (€2.1 billion) at the same point in 2010.

The company, which provides consulting on road building and other public sector projects, has been hit by government spending cuts, accounting errors and underperformance in some divisions, notably management consulting. It said its expectations for 2012 had been "significantly reduced" and it forecast continuing pressure on turnover, margins and its pipeline of new work.

The company's new chief executive, Grant Rumbles, who joined the company in October after then-CEO Richard Cuthbert resigned, said he aimed to put the business back on a firm footing.

Business review

"I will be reviewing every aspect of our business, including the markets we operate in and our operating model," he said.

"Our results have been disappointing. The business has suffered from disruption as Mouchel was subject to takeover speculation and from refinancing anxieties which have influenced clients' decisions about awarding us work."

But Mouchel has secured a lifeline in the form of an agreement with its lenders - an amendment which avoided a breach of the banking facilities which would otherwise have occurred upon publication of the company's 2011 accounts. A revised loan of £129 million (€151 million) and £51 million (€60 million) in credit facilities have been put in place until 31 March, 2014.

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