Thursday 8 December 2016

Balfour Beatty CLG posts its first profit

Published 23/11/2016 | 02:30

The €500m contract covers the installation of new pipes, and maintenance of the gas network
The €500m contract covers the installation of new pipes, and maintenance of the gas network

Balfour Beatty CLG, the joint venture that holds a €500m contract to install and maintain gas infrastructure across the country, posted a €1.2m pre-tax profit last year - its first profit since securing the nine-year contract in 2011.

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The venture, backed by engineering giant Balfour Beatty and Dublin-based engineering firm CLG, had been listed for strike-off by the Companies Registration Office last month for having failed to file returns for two years.

Accounts just filed by the joint venture for 2015, show that revenue at the company rose last year to €67.4m from €57m a year earlier. It had made a pre-tax loss of €350,000 in 2014.

Despite being halfway through its contract with Gas Networks Ireland, Balfour Beatty CLG continues to note in its accounts that it regards the "initial years" as the "mobilisation phase".

It said that after making a profit in 2015, it also expects to be in the black in future years.

However, Balfour Beatty CLG's auditor, Deloitte, noted that at the end of 2015, the company's liabilities exceeded its assets by €3.8m.

Deloitte was obliged to note that such a shortfall resulted in a "material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern".

"The directors [of Balfour Beatty CLG] have projected positive cash flow will be generated for at least 12 months from the date of approval of the financial statements based on management forecasts of trading performance," Deloitte added. As such, said Deloitte, it was appropriate to prepare the accounts on an on-going concern basis. The company employed almost 280 people at the end of last year.

Last month, Balfour Beatty CLG had sought to assure suppliers that it would not be struck off.

A company that is involuntarily struck off can see all its assets transferred to the State and has to apply to the High Court to be reinstated.

Balfour Beatty CLG declined to say why there had been such a long delay in filing its accounts, but had blamed it on an administration issue.

Gas Networks Ireland had also declined to comment directly on Balfour Beatty CLG's position, noting only that it had "robust procurement procedures" in place for the awarding an operation of all contracts.

Balfour Beatty CLG is no longer listed for strike-off at the Companies Registration Office, having filed all its late returns.

The contract includes the installation of new pipes, maintenance of the existing gas network, and emergency response services.

State-owned Gas Networks Ireland is a subsidiary of Ervia.

It retains responsibility for the country's gas infrastructure following the sale of Bord Gáis by the government in 2014 to Centrica for €1.1bn.

Gas Networks Ireland connects over 670,000 homes and businesses to the gas supply.

Irish Independent

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