Figures behind the headlines on another housing minister, Interserve’s debt, and McMullen’s acquisition.
87% – Hike in Interserve’s year-end net debt
In a trading update, the contractor said the debt hike was due to a “significant outflow” connected to energy-from-waste work, exceptional costs and a “normalisation of trading terms” with its supply chain. Interserve said it expected debt to increase before peaking in the first half of the 2018 financial year. Its 2016 year-end net debt was £274.4m.
107.4 – ONS output index
The ONS construction output index hit 107.4 in November, having peaked at 110.3 as recent as August. The rolling three-month figures also showed that output for all new work in the three months from September to November declined 2.1 per cent compared with June to August – the worst three-month change since 2012.
6 – JRL’s contract acquisition
Speaking exclusively to Construction News, JRL’s managing director said his firm had settled millions of pounds of debt with unsecured creditors in order to restart the projects. He added that all six jobs it took on under the deal for McMullen, which had fallen into administration alongside parent group Lakesmere, will be fully back on site by next week.
7 – Another housing minister
Dominic Raab replaced Alok Sharma as housing minister this week in Theresa May’s government reshuffle. In his editorial, CN editor Tom Fitzpatrick suggests Mr Raab “has his work cut out” as he attempts to get “acquainted with a sector that will already be wondering how long he’ll stick around”.
6.9% – Fastest-growing salaries in UK industry
Average advertised salaries in construction were among the fastest-growing of any UK industry in 2017, according to online jobs board CV-Library. It also found that average advertised salaries in the construction industry were higher than any other sector in 2017, standing at £44,476.
40 km – Length of bmJV motorway
The bmJV won the contracts under Highways England’s Collaborative Delivery Framework. The first involves the upgrade of 16 km of the M62 between Warrington and Manchester, while the other will see it convert 24 km of the M27 into a permanent four-lane stretch.