Boss admits QS ‘lost direction’ but says restructuring has boosted turnover to £60m

Currie & Brown has pledged to return to the black by “the millions” this year after admitting it was forced into a £2.8m restructure when it “lost direction”.

Euan McEwan, chief executive, said the business was “getting back to basics” and had an exceptionally strong order book, up 20% on last year.

Speaking ahead of accounts to be published in February, McEwan added this had helped boost turnover to around £60m for the 12 months to September.

This would mark a significant turnaround in the company’s fortunes after it was forced to delay mid-year results despite shareholder pressure.

When the results were finally laid bare in July they showed a £1.6m loss over 18 months, after it had spent £2.8m on restructuring. The company made an underlying profit of £500,000 on turnover of £87m.

Currie & Brown has lost direction a little but is getting back to basics

Euan McEwan

McEwan, who became chief executive two years ago, said the company had “lost direction a little”. He added that Currie & Brown – ranked joint 22nd in Building’s list of the top 100 surveyors – had “significant new business” in the UK and overseas.

It has won a five-year healthcare infrastructure project for the Mexican government, it is project manager on the £96m, 75-storey Infinity Tower in Dubai and has been appointed technical adviser to the Barking and Dagenham Building Schools for the Future programme.

It is also preferred bidder for Glasgow council’s property services outsourcing. This is still being negotiated and McEwan said it was too early to say how much it would be worth.

The company said the bigger, long-term projects were part of a three-year strategic plan.