Kier Group has said it is on track to complete the refurbishment of Aberdeen Music Hall by summer 2018 despite a major engineering challenge.
The £6.725million development for Aberdeen Performing Arts involves digging under the auditorium to create extra space, without disturbing supporting columns in the historic building.
Gordon Reid, business development manager for Kier’s construction arm in Scotland, said it was a “significant” test of engineering expertise but the overall project was on course for the slated completion date.
Work on the near 200-year-old, A-listed building – one of Scotland’s oldest concert halls – is just one of the projects helping Bedfordshire-based Kier grow its footprint north of the border.
Others include recently completed student accommodation in Powis Place, Aberdeen – under an £11million contract with Alumno Developments – and Caol Joint Campus, built for £16million, in Lochaber.
Keir said yesterday its Scottish construction arm was a £150million a year and growing business supporting the group’s “balanced portfolio of businesses and market-leading positions in regional building, infrastructure and housing”.
Interim results for the construction, services and property company, with operations employing more than 21,000 people in the UK, Middle East, Australia and Hong Kong, revealed a 12% year-on-year increase in underlying pre-tax profits to £46.3million.
Group revenue during the six months to December 31 was flat at just over £2billion, with chief executive Haydn Mursell describing the performance as a reflection of “ongoing financial and operational discipline”.
Mr Mursell added: “We are encouraged by the pipeline in the property and residential businesses and our healthy order books of approximately £9billion in the construction and services businesses.”
Kier Construction Scotland employs more than 200 people out of offices in Westhill, near Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow, as well as a site over the border in Newcastle.
Mr Reid said 70% of the division’s current work was in public sector projects such as new schools, hospital improvements and council house upgrades.
Bosses aim to increase the amount of private sector work as they target annual turnover of £200million in the Scottish business by 2020, he added.
“We are confident we are going to achieve that,” he said, highlighting a strong pipeline of work already secured for the next few years.
Kier lost out in its bid to rebuild Ballater’s Old Royal Station after a fire in May 2015 but it has other north-east projects in its sights, including a £4million fit-out for new offices for French oil and gas giant Total, which is relocating from Aberdeen to Westhill.
And the group has “an eye on” £20million plans to transform Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens,” Mr Reid said.
Keir’s overall Scottish business, employing about 600 people in total, also includes an infrastructure maintenance services operation.