BUILDING giant Galliford Try has said Scotland remains a key market in spite of the firm suffering hefty losses on two flagship projects in the country.

The company said it has recorded an £88 million exceptional charge covering losses incurred on two major joint venture infrastructure projects. It did not identify the projects but they are understood to be the Queensferry Crossing and the Aberdeen bypass.

The £1.35 billion Queensferry Crossing over the Forth opened to traffic last month following delays which the consortium Galliford Try belongs to blamed on disruption caused by high winds and bad weather.

Loading article content

In December it emerged that construction on a key section of the £745 million Aberdeen bypass had fallen almost a year behind schedule. Galliford Try is building the road with Carillion and Balfour Beatty.

Asked why Galliford Try was keen on Scotland given the setbacks suffered on the two projects, construction division head Bill Hocking noted the company had said it would not bid for any more big fixed price infrastructure projects of the kind involved.

“You can imagine why,” noted Mr Hocking.

The company said the Scottish government and local authorities continue to provide a consistent pipeline of work in spite of pressure on public spending.

Galliford Try is working on around 15 projects covering sectors such as health, education and defence.

These include the £50m Largs Academy and £69m East Lothian Community Hospital.

Mr Hocking said there is no sign of the flow of contacts slowing down.

The construction market is also in good shape south of the border. The company does the bulk of its construction work for the public sector.

Asked if there were any signs the prospect of Brexit had impacted on activity Mr Hocking said the private sector market had slowed in London. However, conditions in Birmingham are buoyant.

Galliford Try increased annual profits by nine per cent before exceptionals to £147.6 million in the year to 30 June. The Middlesex-based group said its construction, housebuilding and regeneration divisions all achieved a strong underlying performance.

The Linden Homes business has made a good start to the new financial year, with encouraging levels of visitors and reservations. It is focused on England.

Chief executive Peter Truscott said: “Entering the new financial year, we remain cautious about the impact of the current political uncertainty and the medium-term outlook for the macro economy.”

However, directors believe all three divisions have clearly defined plans that should help the group deliver a strong performance even in a period of lower growth in the wider economy.

Galliford Try bought Scotland’s Morrison Construction in 2006.