‘Significant loss’ on green energy plant blamed for overall loss

Civil engineering firm J Murphy & Sons has reported a £9.1m pre-tax loss for 2014, which it attributed to “a substantial loss” on a single project, a major combined heat and power plant in east London.

In accounts filed at Companies House, the firm’s director Bernard Murphy said the plant in Beckton suffered “difficulties with design, cost escalation, supply chain and engine related technical breakdowns” which he said “over shadowed what was otherwise a very satisfactory year”.

Murphy added that the firm was “reviewing its entitlements for recovery on all fronts for this project.”

The £9.1m pre-tax loss for the 2014 calendar year compared to a £34.7m pre-tax profit the previous year. Turnover dropped 18% to £780m, down from £954m in 2013, which the firm attributed to lower revenue from its joint venture business in Australia coming off an “exceptional” 2013 for the venture.

Murphy said the UK tender market remains “highly competitive” despite the “high level of activity in the UK”. He added that the firm will “continue its focus on growth oriented market sectors including rail, power and tunnels.”