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Workloads hit at renamed Brown Macs

Falling workloads in its highways and transportation markets caused revenue to stagnate at civils and utility contractor Skanska McNicholas last year.

The renamed McNicholas Plc – following its December 2006 takeover by the Swedish contracting giant – saw turnover slip by 1 per cent to £179 million in the year to December.

The results filed at Companies House are the first Skanska McNicholas has filed in its new guise since the £50 million takeover was wrapped up more than 18 months ago.

It said volumes were down at its highways arm while the problems at Tube firm Metronet had also impacted on its expected workloads on the upgrade of the London Underground.

But gas and water did well and Skanska McNicholas added: “The market place for utilities and infrastructure, particularly in the London area, remains extremely buoyant for all the services that the divisions provide.”

It said a problem contract for its discontinued building arm in Pirbright, Surrey, was finally completed last year with final account negotiations due to have been wrapped up earlier this summer.

Pre-tax profits at the group bounded up from the previous year when bumper bonus pay-outs for directors dragged down profits by nearly £4 million to £1.8 million. But the figure headed north in 2007 to end up at £6.7 million.

The company took on 20 per cent more staff last year but this is likely to be hit by the problems at Metronet. Average employee numbers at the firm were just under 1,500.

The salary of the highest paid director, who is not named, tumbled from the £737,000 paid out during its last year as Brown Macs to £196,000.