Accounts show firm claimed £4m in furlough money last year

Exceptional items of more than £20m helped knock the edge of an improved performance at Skanska’s UK business last year with the firm seeing profit from its continuing business jump by more than one third.

Skanska did not spell out what the £21.7m in provisions was for but said without it it would have posted an underlying operating profit of £44.3m and operating margins of 3%.

blossom street

Skanska is working on the Blossom Street mixed-use scheme for British Land on the City fringe near Shoreditch

Skanska completed the sale of its £334m turnover infrastructure services division to M Group Services in April this year, with the firm taking a £31.5m profit on the deal.

It said pre-tax profit in 2020 from continuing operations was up 36% to £13m while profit from its offloaded business more than doubled to £9.4m. Overall group pre-tax profit was up 57% to £22.4m.

The firm, whose major wins during the period included the £240m Ropemaker Street scheme in the City for Great Elm Assets and the £180m Blossom Street development for British Land, said turnover was down 19% to £1.5bn, with income from continuing operations falling 23% to £1.1bn.

The accounts show that Skanska claimed just over £4m from the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Cash reserves stood at £422.4m at the end of the year, down from £473.7m in 2019. It said the fall this was mainly down to a £35m dividend payment to its Swedish parent for the 2019 and 2020 financial years.