Ray O’Rourke cancels Laing exit

Laing O’Rourke chief executive Ray O’Rourke has cancelled his opinion to step down, and his designated alternative Seamus French is to pass away the company.

The announcement came similtaneously it was as soon as revealed the community’s global earnings had been slashed due the fallout from a historical job in Australia.

The contractor announced final year that O’Rourke, who co-founded predecessor O’Rourke & Son in 1978, was as soon as to pass away the feature after a handover duration with Seamus French, ancient head of mining enormous Anglo American’s bulk commodities and a range of minerals division.

French’s “huge plc” expertise was as soon as cited at the time, and a transition was as soon as said to be section of a opinion to develop into a publicly listed company “by 2024”.

Building News understands that timeline is now unlikely, however a spokesperson said the opinion was as soon as “no longer off the desk”.

Laing O’Rourke launched its corpulent company accounts and annual file similtaneously it announced the files that O’Rourke will quit on for two more years.

The contractor turn into over £2.9bn worldwide within the year to 31 March 2022, up from £2.51bn in 2021. Pre-tax profit slid to £2.7m from £41.4m in 2021.

It said its funds had been hit by £69.6m touching on to a dispute over a contract in Australia which was as soon as terminated in 2017, besides to £6.1m in upright charges. The job was as soon as no longer named within the accounts alternatively it has been in a notorious dispute over the constructing of 4 cryogenic tanks within the country since 2017, and had previously been pursuing a £93m claim over the work.

It posted its lowest win debt stage in six years, with win cash up by £63m to £339.1m.

Outcomes launched for its operations with the exception of Australia final week confirmed its pre-tax profit trebled to £16.2m, with turnover with the exception of JVs standing at £1.8bn, up from £1.52bn the old year.

Within the assertion asserting the commerce of leadership opinion, company chair Sir John Parker said: “Since signing off the community accounts for [the latest financial year], Seamus and Ray were centered on the challenges of completing a CEO leadership transition all over a duration of much financial turbulence here within the UK.

“Now we possess agreed to ‘preserve formation’ and that Seamus will step down from his transitional feature as Europe managing director with Ray remaining as CEO.”

French joined the company’s leadership crew in January, as Europe hub and chief executive-designate, on a three-year contract.

He said: “I even possess thrown myself into this selection and chanced on the commerce tough however provocative and possess grown extremely inflamed by the ‘can-comprise’ atmosphere and inner most engagement at Laing O’Rourke. Nonetheless, my expertise tells me it is some distance finest to allow the established crew to flex and acknowledge to the market right now.”

The contractor also announced that O’Rourke’s son Cathal O’Rourke, ancient managing director of its Australian arm, is to develop into chair of its Australian commerce and a non-executive director of your total community. Australia hub managing director Rebecca Hanley will likely be part of the community’s board next month.

Ray O’Rourke previously stood down as chief executive in April 2013, handing over to Anna Stewart and turning into community chair. Nonetheless, he returned to lead the company in 2015 when Stewart turn into in wretched health.

In 2017 he urged CN he was as soon as planning a stock substitute float after his departure from the company, which he said was but again likely to happen at the tip of its 2020 financial year.

He said at the time: “There’s a hazard with founder leaders that they are indubitably past their sell-by date. I started succession planning in 2006, however it be most important to web out of the draw in which – you may well perhaps’t be a ghost walking around, I even possess seen it in a range of organisations and it doesn’t work.”

On the future of the IPO opinion, a spokesperson said: “It’s no longer off the desk, in particular because the underlying efficiency of the commerce is upright – income and repeat book rising, debt at its lowest stage for six years. We continue to take into legend all strategic alternatives for the future of the commerce.”

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