Fire-safety work lands Countryside with £184m loss

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More than £100m worthy of fire-safety enactment has led to Countryside slumping to a £184m loss.

The contractor spent £109m remediating fire-safety defects connected its properties successful the six months to 31 March. That saw it plunge to an operating nonaccomplishment of £184.5m, compared with a £24.7m nett successful the half-year to March 2021. Its gross dropped somewhat to £602.2m, from £661m.

The £109m remediation money includes monies antecedently funded by the government’s Building Safety Fund (BSF), from which the contractor had claimed £29.5m.

But it was 1 of astir 45 developers to sign up to lodging caput Michael Gove’s gathering information pledge. One of the commitments was that developers would not assertion thing from the BSF and would alternatively money the remediation of those buildings themselves.

In total, Countryside pinpointed 123 buildings successful request of remediation successful its portfolio. The firm has spent £150m remediating buildings implicit the past 3 years.

“Due to the grade of the remediation works, a caller standalone part has been established to negociate and present the programme,” the accounts state, adding that the enactment is expected to instrumentality astir a decade. Setting up the part outgo £19m.

Impairments to the company’s intangible assets, totalling £77m, compounded its losses. Most of that was linked to Westleigh, which Countryside bought successful 2018. But, successful June, institution interim radical main enforcement John Martin admitted the acquisition “had not performed successful enactment with the acquisition case”. In particular, its task margins were precise debased and schemes that were meant to beryllium finished were “not completed to Countryside’s precocious standards”.

However, the concern said the archetypal fractional of 2021, to which these results were compared, was “unusually strong”, arsenic much than 1,100 projects that should person been completed successful 2020 were deferred until that play owed to the coronavirus pandemic.

Looking ahead, the steadfast is expecting to execute an adjusted operating nett of £150m successful the twelvemonth to September, acknowledgment to a “very beardown pipeline of caller sites” and robust request for mixed-tenure developments. In October 2021, it was named the preferred spouse and contractor for a 2,500-house London property scheme.

Countryside added that it expects to mitigate wide ostentation done unspecified commercialized and pricing arrangements.

The hunt is inactive connected for a caller main enforcement to regenerate Iain McPherson, who stepped down successful January arsenic the firm revealed a driblet successful profit.