Civil engineer blames one “extremely challenging contract”

Bam’s UK civil engineering arm Bam Nuttall posted a £20m pre-tax loss in the 2014 calendar year, due to one “extremely challenging contract”, the firm has said.

In accounts filed at Companies House, Bam Nuttall said the undisclosed contract had caused its loss, but that at the time of filing it was “under control” and in 2015 it would be “substanitally completed”.

The £20.2m pre-tax loss compared to a £10.7m pre-tax profit in 2013. Turnover edged up to £774.1m, up from £756m.

Bam Nuttall said it had adopted a more “selective” approach to tendering in 2014 but was nonetheless “busy”.

The firm said it had reduced its dependence on London and the South-east with work on the Borders Rail project in Scotland and work on a new airport terminal in Tanzania.

During 2014 the firm also handed over its legacy infrastructure work at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, having rebuilt the various links between parts of the site. The firm said it maintained a presence on the site through winning further bridge reconstruction work. Meanwhile, the firm said it had a “good pipeline of work” in the road and rail sectors.

Bam Nuttall’s parent company, Amsterdam-listed Royal Bam, posted an overall €122.4m (£90.6m) full-year loss for 2014 which it blamed on problems on two jobs in the UK and Germany.

Bam Nuttall’s UK sister company, contractor Bam Construct, posted a profit in 2014, albeit down on the previous year. Bam Construct posted pre-tax profit of £6.6m, down 39% on £10.9m in 2013.

Last month Royal Bam said its UK operations as a whole posted a £2.9m profit in the first half of 2015.

The firm is part-way through implementing a cost-cutting and efficiency programme across the group called ‘Back in Shape’, which started last summer and will run to the end of 2015. Royal Bam axed 650 jobs last autumn as part of the programme.