Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Bosses 'at fault' for FMT UK's insolvency

The Austrian parent of collapsed engineering firm FMT has blamed the English management for the demise of its UK subsidiary.
The UK arm, which is based in South Yorkshire, appointed administrator Kroll last Wednesday after running up debts of £2.5 million.

Over 100 jobs have been lost, many of them out-of-pocket site workers at a contract to build a £30 million waste incineration plant at Allington, near Maidstone in Kent.

It has also emerged that FMT's operations in Germany are insolvent, with 130 jobs set to go.

Bosses at the parent firm in Thalheim bei Wels have laid the blame for the problems squarely at the door of the English management.

FMT said: 'The immediate causes of the insolvency were misjudgements in the development of major projects by the management of the English location near Sheffield. In the end, these also dragged the German subsidiary into bankruptcy.'

The company also blamed a 'serious miscalculation' on a major project - believed to be the Allington job - for the collapse. It added: 'This also had a direct effect on the German company because this was involved in a major order that returned especially high losses.'

Hochtief is the main building and civils contractor at the Allington plant, which will turn household waste from Kent into electricity.

Both FMT, which was carrying out mechanical work at the plant, and Hochtief have been working for German engineering firm Lurgi.

One site source said: 'Some of the blokes are missing seven weeks' wages, the four weeks from last month and what they're owed this month. The guys have lost a lot of money, which is not great with Christmas just around the corner.'

Kroll was unavailable for comment.

According to its latest set of accounts filed at Companies House, FMT UK's turnover in 2004 slumped to £2.6 million - a two thirds fall on the £7.6 million it reported in the previous year.

The North Anston-based firm dived £217,000 into the red from a £209,000 pre-tax profit in 2003.

by David Rogers