Loss follows £50m writedown after project delays and disputed claims

Costain has reported a pre-tax loss of £61.7m after being hit by contract write-downs and the closure of its international division.

The group reported the loss in its full year results to 31 December 2006, compared with a profit of £25m in 2005. Turnover rose to £886.3m from £773.2m during the period.

The loss follows a £50m writedown in December, which the firm blamed on project delays and disputed claims.

The closure of the international division, together with its result, caused a loss of £27.3m. Provisions on contract writedowns amounted to £47.2m. The firm also suffered from poor performances in its building and COGAP divisions.

Chairman David Jefferies said: “Looking to 2007, and following the contract write-downs, we have entered the year with greater clarity. We are tightly managing out the few remaining legacy contracts and, having reviewed the group’s trading prospects in detail, the board believes that the group should see a significant recovery in underlying performance this year.”