Kier shares crash as it revises net debt position higher

Now without a chief executive after the sudden departure of Haydn Mursell in January, the firm also warned it would take a £25m hit on the delayed redevelopment of Broadmoor hospital in Berkshire.

Kier Group said yesterday that its net debt stood at £180.5 million at the end of its half-year on December 31.

With memories of the collapse of its peer Carillion in 2018 still fresh, announcing net debt as at 31 December was materially higher than previously flagged is not likely to inspire confidence.

This has raised average month-end net debt over the period from £370m to £430m.

The HS2, Crossrail and Hinkley Point C contractor said the upward loan revisions related to changes to a £40m "debt reclassification" and a £10m increase relating to the company's hedging activities.

Shares in Kier Group fell more than 16 percent on Monday after the British builder disclosed an accounting error that pushed up its debt for 2018, months after many shareholders refused to buy into a new issue of stock.

As reported by the Enquirer, the main part of the project is almost two years late. The first phase of the project is expected to be handed over shortly and the remaining work on the project, which accounts for less than 10% of its value, will commence shortly thereafter.

Kiers' board has reviewed the operational progress and cost recovery programme of the Broadmoor Hospital redevelopment project.

Kier also said it would take a £25mln provision related to its long-running contract to redevelop Broadmoor Hospital after reviewing the operational progress and cost recovery programme of the project, which is almost two years behind schedule.

The £25m hit will be recorded in Kier's 2019 full year results.

The statement also said Kier Group would take a £25 million hit on its contract to redevelop Broadmoor Hospital but added: "Whilst the board notes the current political and economic uncertainty in the United Kingdom, and the implications for third party investment, the Group remains on course to meet its underlying FY19 expectations, with the full-year results being weighted towards the second-half of the financial year, as expected".

Kier said it remains focused on reducing its debt and expects that it will be in a cash position by June 30.

Vanessa Coleman