Firm puts cost of covid and problem 22 Bishopsgate job behind it

Multiplex returned to the black last year after the cost of dealing with covid and huge losses on its 22 Bishopsgate contract wrecked its numbers in 2020.

The London tower builder sank to a pre-tax loss of £158.5m on turnover down from £872m to £599m in 2020 but in its latest accounts, which have now been filed at Companies House, the firm turned in a pre-tax profit of £2.6m on turnover up one third to £793m.


Work at One Nine Elms is not expected to resume in earnest until May

Multiplex said it had won five new schemes last year including the deal to turn the former US embassy at Grosvenor Square into a luxury hotel and a new office block at 65 Davies Street above the Bond Street Crossrail station.

It said its work book at the end of the year was £2.7bn, up from £2.5bn, which includes the One Nine Elms residential scheme but which has since stalled while a payment wrangle with its Chinese client is fixed. The contractor is understood to be owed more than £50m by R&F with work not expected to resume on the Battersea scheme until May.

Multiplex said its backlog of construction work stands at around £1.4bn, £200m more than in 2020.

The firm’s construction business is by far and away its biggest but the firm’s business also includes a plant and equipment arm which is included in its Multiplex Europe accounts. Turnover at this business was up 33% to £804.5m with the firm recording a pre-tax profit of £2.9m from a £138.5m loss last time.