Metronet consortium partner reports £100m loss on tube PPP

Metronet consortium partner Atkins has suffered a loss of £40m in its latest set of results after being hit by a loss of over £100m on the tube PPP.

Atkins reported an exceptional loss of £121.3m on Metronet for the year to 31 March 2007, resulting in an overall pre-tax loss for the business of £39.6m compared with a profit of £74.8m last year. The scale of the losses is much greater than the £36m hit on Metronet the company said it was anticipating in April.

Metronet workers

Atkins’ Metronet consortium partner Balfour Beatty said in a trading update today that it is taking a £100m exceptional charge related to Metronet. However, the impact in Balfour Beatty’s interim results, due in August, will be largely offset by exceptional gains totalling £90m relating to the sale of its interest in Devenport Dockyard and its acquisition of Centex construction.

The hits come after the Metronet partners announced an extraordinary review of Metronet’s activities. The consortium is in negotiations with its banks to ensure adequate funding is in place until the review is concluded.

Atkins also announced today that it has agreed to the sale of its UK-based property agency business Lambert Smith Hampton to De Facto 1489, a company backed by LSH management and Bank of Scotland Integrated Finance, for £46.5m.

Keith Clarke, Atkins chief executive, said: “Atkins is committed to working with Metronet, its banks and other stakeholders to ensure that it can continue through to the outcome of the Extraordinary Review. We start the new year in a very good position with work in hand representing 58% of our budgeted revenue. The demand for our services in our key markets is strong and we are confident that the group will continue to achieve further progress in the year ahead.”