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Wednesday 19 December 2018

HS2 firm Carillion brings new boss in early

The group said on Wednesday that Andrew Davies’ start date will now be January 22, rather than April 2.

Carillion profit warning
Carillion profit warning

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Troubled infrastructure giant Carillion has parachuted its new chief executive into the firm earlier than previously planned.

The group, which is embroiled in an ongoing crisis that has involved a string of profits warnings, said on Wednesday that Andrew Davies’ start date will now be January 22, rather than April 2.

Interim boss Keith Cochrane will step down from his role in January but will remain with Carillion in an advisory capacity to ensure an orderly transition, the firm added.

Mr Davies is currently the chief executive of Wates Group, where he has held the role since 2014.

Prior to that, he was in a series of senior roles with BAE Systems over a 28-year period and he is also non-executive director at Chemring.

Carillion chairman Philip Green said: “We are very grateful to the board of Wates, and to James Wates CBE, their chairman, for their facilitation of Andrew’s earlier appointment.

“It is a demonstration of how the sector is willing to co-operate and collaborate to ensure the long-term sustainability of UK industry.”

In November, the HS2 contractor issued its latest profit warning and said it will breach its debt covenants, which resulted in another share price collapse.

The firm said at the time that annual profits are set to be “materially lower than current market expectations” as it grapples with a string of delays and smaller-than-expected improvements to margins on certain contracts.

Despite efforts to drive down costs, haul in cash and push through disposals, the group said it would fail to hit its net debt to earnings ratio of 1 to 1.5 times by the end of 2018.

It came after the firm, which has about 43,000 staff worldwide, posted half-year losses of £1.15 billion.

Press Association

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