Construction group reveals details of refinancing deal to reduce its debt mountain

Miller Group reduced its pre-tax loss to £92.8m in the financial year ended 31 December 2011, as the firm revealed more detail on a major refinancing deal this month to reduce its debt mountain.

The Scotland-based construction group lost £159.8m in 2010. The group’s turnover fell 11% to £587.6m in 2011 from £662.9m in 2010/.

A large part of Miller’s £93m loss was down to interest payments of £51m on the firm’s debt mountain and an exceptional write-down of £53.6m.

But the firm pointed out in its results that operating profit before interest increased nine-fold to £20.8m from £2.4m in 2010.

The firm said the increase in operating profit was achieved through margin recovery in the company’s housing and mining businesses.

It also revealed that its major deft-for-equity deal with investors on 1 March had reduced its debts by £500m.

The firm converted £264.5m of its debt to ordinary shares and received a further cash injection of £160m in exchange for equity.

The deal helped reduce the amount the group owed to creditors within a year from £823.8m on December 31 2011 to £192.9m after the refinancing was completed.

Chief executive Keith Miller said: “The significant capital investment and support from our new shareholders provides us with a solid platform for future growth.

“Our chosen markets are showing encouraging signs of recovery and, with a robust balance sheet, together with the steps we have taken to position each of our businesses, we can look to the future with some confidence.”