Firm has paid close to half of penalty with remaining £9m due in instalments

The company hit with the biggest fine following the Competition and Market Authority’s probe into the demolition sector says it has agreed to settle up with the final payment of its penalty due by 2027.

Erith was one of 10 firms fined a total of £60m following the cartel-buster’s investigation into bid-rigging.

The Kent-based contractor was fined £17.6m after being found guilty of bid-rigging and of making and receiving so-called compensation payments – which the CMA said involved designated ‘losers’ of contracts being compensated by the winner.


Erith has paid close to half of its bid-rigging fine

In its latest accounts for the year ending September 2022, Erith Holdings said it has “agreed a full settlement with a time to pay award”.

At the time the accounts were signed off at the end of last month, Erith said it had paid £8.6m of the CMA fine with the remainder due to be settled in instalments over the coming four years.

Erith said “robust new systems [introduced] within the business render it impossible for any further infringements of competition law to occur”. It added the firm has brought in a compliance manager who reports directly to the main board.

Two of the 10 firms fined, Keltbray and Squibb, have said they are contesting the level of their penalties – £16m and £2m respectively.

In its latest accounts, Erith said turnover was up 18% to £208m but the firm fell into the red racking up a £13.8m pre-tax loss from an £11m profit last time.

As well as the CMA fine, the firm has set aside a further £700,000 in liabilities following an accident that resulted in a fatality at its premises in Kent. Erith Plant Services has been charged by the Health and Safety Executive with the case due to be heard next year.

It added that both of these provisions have been made in full in 2023.