Trou­bled Car­il­lion to help build HS2

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - Business - Gra­ham huband and neil lancefield

Trou­bled con­struc­tion gi­ant Car­il­lion is among the firms awarded con­tracts for the build­ing of phase one of the HS2 high-speed rail line.

The govern­ment con­tracts are worth £6.6 bil­lion in to­tal and will see tun­nels, em­bank­ments and viaducts con­structed be­tween Lon­don and Birm­ing­ham.

The work is es­ti­mated to sup­port 16,000 jobs.

A part­ner­ship fea­tur­ing Car­il­lion has been com­mis­sioned for two projects.

The firm’s share price tanked by more than 70% last week af­ter a profit warn­ing and an £845 mil­lion write-off on con­struc­tion con­tracts.

How­ever, its stock rose by more than a fifth in morn­ing trad­ing yes­ter­day af­ter a dou­ble boost from the HS2 rail con­tract and an agree­ment with EY to help sup­port its ma­jor busi­ness re­view.

In­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive Keith Cochrane, who has pre­vi­ously led Stage­coach and Weir Group, said: “Along­side our own ef­forts, EY will pro­vide sup­port across the busi­ness and bring an ex­ter­nal per­spec­tive to our cost re­duc­tion and cash col­lec­tion chal­lenge.

“My pri­or­i­ties are to re­duce the group’s net debt and cre­ate a bal­ance sheet that will sup­port Car­il­lion go­ing for­ward.

“We need to sim­plify the busi­ness and demon­strate that value can again be cre­ated for share­hold­ers.”

Bal­four Beatty and joint ven­ture part­ner VINCI have also picked up two HS2 con­tracts worth around £2.5bn while a num­ber of for­eign firms in­clud­ing Swe­den’s Skan­ska, French com­pany Bouygues Travaux and Aus­tria’s Stra­bag also picked up new work. High-speed trains are ex­pected to be­gin op­er­at­ing be­tween Lon­don and Birm­ing­ham in 2026.

Pic­ture: PA.

A con­cept im­age of how part of the HS2 route be­tween Lon­don and Birm­ing­ham will look.

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