Group chief executive to be replaced by chief operating officer

Carillion’s group chief executive John McDonough is to leave the company in December after a decade at the firm.

McDonough, who is now 60 years old and will retire, will be succeeded by chief operating officer Richard Howson, who has been at the firm for 16 years.

In a statement also announcing half year results, Carillion said McDonough had “made a major contribution to Carillion’s success.” The firm added: “Under his leadership, Carillion’s earnings and dividends per share have broadly trebled as the company has been transformed from being largely focused on UK construction into an international support services company with a strong, selective construction capability.”

Half year results showed pre-tax profits down by 35% to £38.2m, largely due to a £28m one-off cost related to the acquisition of green services company Eaga.

Overall revenues were down 2%, due to an expected 10% contraction in UK construction revenues to £943m and a drop off in PFI revenues. Carillion’s other two businesses - support services and Middle East construction – grew turnover, with work in the Middle East growing by 40% despite recent unrest.

The firm’s statement said it will continue to “re-scale” it’s UK construction business to cope with predicted reductions in government spending. It said it expects to hit predicted full-year profits expectations, despite the market remaining “challenging”.

The firm also said it had been named preferred bidder on road maintenance contracts in Canada worth up to £200m over the next 11 years. It has also been named preferred bidder by two UK councils for facilities management work worth up to £50m over the next four years.