Groundworks contractor blames over-ambition and recession for going into administration

Groundworks specialist CJ Haughey Construction has gone into administration, with the loss of 35 jobs.

The company, which had £25m annual turnover for the year to 28 February 2009, said a combination of over-ambition and the recession led to its demise.

It admitted that the £21m civil engineering package on the construction of a gas fired power station in Pembrokeshire, South-west Wales had proved a “bridge too far”.

Founded in 1999, the company is headed up by 33-year old Chris Haughey.

“We were ambitious to grow the company and we proved that we could achieve this,” he said. “Our targets were in hindsight probably too ambitious and a project of the magnitude of Pembrokshire combined with the economic downturn proved too much and has unfortunately spelt the end of the company.

“I am personally devastated and it is with regret that the company has been placed in administration with the loss of so many jobs.”

Martin Coyne, from the Coventry office of accountancy firm Poppleton and Appleby, has been appointed administrator and is now handling the company’s affairs.

“The company has, like many others, become a victim of the current economic climate and the downturn in construction,” he said. “We are currently reviewing the business, its contracts and work in progress.”

In its own statement, CJ Haughey said the administration had led to 250 “job losses”, although Poppleton & Appelby confirmed it only employs 35 people directly.