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Laing shells out £18m in liabilities

LAING Group spent £18 million on construction liabilities last year, with the bulk going towards finishing its disastrous contract to rebuild the National Physical Laboratory in London.

The last building module at the Teddington complex is being handed over this month with just minor landscaping remaining.

The NPL scheme, which has cost Laing at least £65 million after it ran into major air conditioning problems, was one of 13 contracts the group held onto when it sold its construction arm to O'Rourke for £1.

Provision for construction liabilities stood at £39.2 million at the end of 2002. Group finance director Adrian Ewer said: 'We are comfortable with the level of provision carried forward and we don't expect to use all of it.'