Irish arm of construction giant cuts workforce after turnover collapses by 75%

According to accounts filed with Companies Office in Ireland, revenues for Laing O’Rourke Ireland Ltd dropped from €103.6m in the financial year ended March 2009, to just €25.1m in the year to March 2010.

Reports in the Irish Examiner said the figures showed the firm made a pre-tax loss of €1m in 2010, compared to a pre-tax profit of €2.8m in 2009. The number of staff employed at the firm more than halved during the year from 590 to 282 - a loss of 308, or 52% of its workforce. Site staff were hardest hit by the job losses, with 185 lost in that sector.

A statement released as part of the report said directors are “disappointed with the loss for the year incurred as a result of difficult economic conditions. Market conditions remain challenging and the business will only pursue selective profitable opportunities.”

The firm’s troubles in Ireland do not come as a surprise, given the weak state of the economy there, but they are unlikely to have a direct material impact on Laing O’Rourke’s overall business, which is spread over a number of sectors and various geographies.