Irish construction firm Sicon — the holding company for the Sisk group’s construction assets — has said its 2012 accounts will show a return to profitability, after it incurred a pre-tax loss of €153.6m in 2011.
The loss came about chiefly on the back of the high-profile failure of its road building project in Poland. Latest annual accounts for Sicon Limited, covering 2011 (technically, the 13 months to Jan 31, 2012) show an increase in group turnover from €878.2m to €1bn. However, a pre-exceptional operating loss of €3.4m was also reported and the pre-tax profit of €9m generated in 2010 gave way to pre-tax losses of €153.6m.
This was down to two exceptional items — a one-off non-cash loss of €49.1m from the demerging/sale of the group’s healthcare interests to Sisk Healthcare Group, and a €98m cumulative loss on the company’s Polish interests.
Last year saw Sicon associate SRB terminate two road-build projects it had been awarded in 2010, having completed one, after difficulties with Poland’s roads authority and its local project partners going out of business.
Sicon has launched legal action against the Polish state and is confident of retrieving some costs from this process.
Sicon chief executive Liam Nagle said yesterday that progress made during 2012 in the firm’s core markets of Ireland and Britain has returned the business to profitability and further profit growth is anticipated for 2013. He added that 80% of the group’s 2013 order book has already been secured.
Sicon is forecasting its 2012 accounts to show pre-tax profits of between €10m and €12m, with annual turnover to amount to around €900m. The British- based business is likely to show a turnover of over £300m for the third consecutive year, for 2012; while the Irish construction business is expected to show turnover of around €400m.
The group’s balance sheet is expected to have strengthened to a net worth of €60m.
In Ireland, the company is constructing Diageo’s new brewing facility at St James’s Gate, while in London it is building the Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard, Europe’s tallest building.
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