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Imtech UK chief insists business is 'unchanged' by £86m Polish hit

Imtech UK’s chief executive has stressed that his company’s financial position and growth plans are “unchanged” after its Dutch parent group was forced into urgent talks with its banks following an £86 million write down and problems in its Polish business.

Paul Kavanagh said the UK company is “one of the stand alone local for local businesses within Imtech”, which operates separately from the Dutch parent group.

The directors in charge of Imtech’s German division, which runs the Polish operation, stepped down yesterday after parent group Royal Imtech announced it had been “severely harmed” by a lack of payment and likely cancellation of projects at theme park Adventure World Warsaw.

It cited “possible irregularities” after finding that advanced payments included in the accounts had not been received.

The Dutch parent group, which saw its share price fall 48 per cent to €10.2 on Monday, said the write downs have left it in breach of its bank covenants.

Although part of the group, Mr Kavanagh stressed that Imtech UK, which plans to double its revenue to £1bn by 2015, has “a strong position and a record forward order book…with good prospects for further revenue and profit growth”.

“These fundamentals are unchanged by the events in a separate part of the Imtech NV organisation,” he said.

“We follow the Imtech model of decentralised control and each individual business within our group has the financial strength, local autonomy and capability to deliver in its local market place,” he added.

“For many years we have pursued a policy of managed positive growth adhering to this entrepreneurial principle.

“At the end of 2012 this strategy has left us with a broad based autonomous technical services business with local control, financial strength and strong prospects in a number of markets and regions as well as internationally.”

Imtech was established in the UK in 2003 and has become one of UK and Ireland’s largest technical services providers through several acquisitions and organic growth. It had a turnover of £515 million in 2011.

Mr Kavanagh took over as CEO of the M&E and building solutions business from Jim Steele, who remains with the company as group director, and is tasked with the aims of making Imtech “the strongest technical services business in the UK”.

The £86m hit to the parent group relates to three projects for Adventure World Warsaw and one project involving energy-generating bio power stations, also in Warsaw. These projects have a combined value of around £657m

Parent group Royal Imtech said the departure of the German CEO and CFO was “to safeguard management continuity in Germany in the short term”.

In a trading update earlier this week, the group said it is delaying publishing its accounts.

The outgoing German CEO Klaus Betz, has been replaced by Jos Graauwmans, director of human resources at Royal Imtech, who becomes acting CEO of Imtech Deutschland.

Jan van Middelkoop, CFO Imtech Nederland, will replace Axel Glass and become acting CFO for the German division.

Permanent successors will be appointed as “quickly as possible,” the group statement said.

Peter Kronenberg and Peter Eilers, the two other members of the Imtech Deutschland management, will stay on.

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