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Picking up the tab for AWPR delay

Construction giant Galliford Try said yesterday it had booked a further £26 million of costs for delays to the £1 billion-plus Aberdeen city bypass road.

A final stretch of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) has still not opened, although physical work is complete, due to a wrangle over who will pick up the tab for maintenance.

Galliford Try – parent of Scottish firm Morrison Construction – had logged a £45 million hit from AWPR delays in annual results published last September.

The company, which was left to complete the road alongside Balfour Beatty after the collapse of original consortium partner Carillion, said at the time it had shouldered a total of £123m in extra costs from the project.

AWPR’s official price tag comes in at £745m, which includes a contract worth about £530m to development consortium Aberdeen Roads.

Taxpayers will not shell out a penny more but the main contractors have suffered hefty losses, causing the true cost of the project to swell beyond £1 billion.

Galliford Try, which has ruled out bidding for any more large infrastructure jobs on fixed-price contracts, warned yesterday of a potential “severe” hit to consumer confidence – affecting its housebuilding – and disrupted imports of critical materials if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

It also reported a 4% year-on-year fall in pre-tax profits, to £53.8m, for the six months to December 31. On an underlying basis, profits rose by 4% to a record £84.2 million.

Chief executive Peter Truscott said the group was now expecting full-year pre-tax profits of up to £192.5m.

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