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Ex-Balfour MD appointed Van Elle chief exec

Van Elle has appointed Balfour Beatty MD Mark Cutler as its new chief executive to replace Jon Fenton.

Mr Cutler, who was the managing director of the Balfour Beatty / Vinci HS2 JV, will take up the post no later than October this year, with Van Elle hoping to bring him in earlier.

He had previously served as MD of Balfour Beatty’s the UK regional construction and engineering businesses.

Mr Cutler joined Balfour Beatty from Barhale in December 2013, but left within a year to join Keepmoat.

He rejoined Balfour Beatty in 2016 as director of strategic projects.

Van Elle revealed in November last year that Mr Fenton would be stepping down to deal with a family matter.

The ground engineering specialist brought in Stephen Prendergast to act as interim chief executive.

Mr Prendergast has worked in interim management roles at firms including Amey, Balfour Beatty, ISG and Network Rail over the past 13 years, as well as having executive experience at Amec and Costain.

Trading update

In its trading update Van Elle confirmed that it had successfully agreed terms to restart work on some of its Carillion contracts.

Following the collapse of Carillion, Mr Fenton told CN in January that his company had “demobilised” from Carillion Network Rail sites and would not return until it had a “firm contractual arrangement in place”.

In today’s update, Van Elle said it only expected to have a limited financial benefit from restarting the Carillion contracts.

However, the firm said its rail unit had a strong second half of 2017 despite Carillion’s deterioration and was continuing to win work.

Van Elle reported that performance in its ground engineering services arm had not been as positive.

The division’s Scottish operations were hit by weather delays along with a loss-making contract in its ground stabilisation business.

The business said it was now anticipating a lower-than-expected bad debt charge of £1m, down from £1.6m.

Van Elle adjusted its anticipated pre-tax profit for the year to 30 April 2018 to approximately £10.5m. 

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