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Kier Group continuing to grow across Scotland

Kier Group
Kier Group

Kier Group continued to grow its presence across Scotland during the first six months of its trading year, a top boss at the FTSE 250 building company said yesterday.

Brian McQuade, managing director for Scotland and north-east England at Kier’s construction division, said turnover was up by about 8% north of the border, compared with a year earlier.

Kier’s Scottish expansion was creating jobs and training opportunities, while also supporting local supply chains, he added.

He was speaking after Bedfordshire-based Kier announced a 19% rise in underlying pre-tax profits, to £44.2million, for the six months to December 31..

But £15.5million of costs linked to last year’s £265million takeover of infrastructure and services firm Mouchel meant reported profits were 35% lower at £18million.

Kier reported first half revenue of £2.1billion, up 32% on a year earlier.

The group’s construction arm is increasingly visible north of the border, where the division has about 200 people working out of offices in Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow.

The wider group employs 640 people around Scotland, including in the former business of north-east company Turriff Group.

Major projects the company is currently involved in include the £3billion dualling of the A9 Inverness-Perth road and work on a £14million community centre and primary school campus at Caol, near Fort William.

Mr McQuade revealed the group had already expressed an interest in the planned £415million development of Nigg Bay into an extension of Aberdeen harbour.

He said Kier’s north-east activities were largely unaffected by the oil and gas downturn as they were mostly in the public sector, and there was a strong pipeline of projects coming through.

The company is at the heart of a £17million backlog maintenance programme at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and also an £11million student accommodation development in the Granite City.

In the Highlands, the group was recently awarded a £650,000 contract to construct a new international arrivals hall and expand the existing departure lounge as part of a near £1million upgrade to Inverness Airport.

Mr McQuade said Scottish and north-east England construction business made a strong contribution to the group’s first half results.

He added: “We’ve performed well this year, increasing both our headcount and framework and tender wins, and taking a proactive yet disciplined approach to growth which has strengthened our market position and provided a strong pipeline of work.

“Our commitment to the Scottish construction sector also goes beyond our business operations.

“We continue to provide local jobs to people within 20 to 40 miles of the contract postcode, supporting local supply chains, contractors and SMEs and offering training opportunities for the wider community.”

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