Engineering firm’s losses quadruple

Pre-tax losses at the Irish arm of consultancy engineering firm Mott MacDonald nearly quadrupled last year as the construction downturn continued to hit its business.

Newly filed accounts show that pre-tax losses at the UK-owned Mott MacDonald Ireland Ltd increased from €568,680 to €2.2m last year.

Revenues at the firm — which has offices in Dublin, Cork and Waterford — declined by 33%, from €19.3m to €12.9m, during the year.

The figures also show that Mott MacDonald received a cash injection of €2.9m during the year. The firm has worked on the Government’s inter-urban motorway programme and the Luas. In response to the sharp decline in business, numbers employed by the company last year dropped from 162 to 135.

The directors state that they are “satisfied” with the group’s performance for the year.

According to the directors’ report, within the accounts, “the further deterioration in the economy in 2011 and, in particular, the construction industry, had a material effect on the year’s performance”.

It continues: “Initiatives that were put in place, in 2010, to reduce costs and set the company up to be better placed to trade successfully in the future continued in 2011, reducing cost of sales by 40%.”

The latest figures show that Mott MacDonald’s cost of sales fell from €12.1m to €7.3m last year, and the report further states: “Significant investments and cost reductions helped the performance for the year, but the benefit was only starting to show in the last quarter of 2011.”

The company added that its forward order book for the next 12 months is “relatively good”, with almost 75% of the 2012 budget contracted, compared to 65% at this time last year.

The commentary in the latest accounts adds that business remains “challenging”, but the directors and the subsidiary’s parent company are “confident that 2012 should see an improvement in our financial performance”.

Meanwhile, the reduction in staff contributed to staff costs reducing from €11.4m to €10.2m, while directors’ remuneration declined from €1.44m to €1m.


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