Osborne makes £45m construction loss

The books were balanced by a profit from discontinued operations of £46.3m allowing the group to show a pre-tax profit of £675,000 for the financial year.

Osborne sold its profitable infrastructure business days before the financial year end including a profit on disposal of £39.4m.

Heavy losses in the previous year prompted a group-wide business review leading to the sale of its £200m turnover infrastructure business to London private equity firm Sullivan Street Partners.

Osborne said: “The timing of the Infrastructure sale served to assist in  offsetting the losses from a small number of construction projects in London, which  have now completed.”

The group – which now consists of main contracting arm Geoffrey Osborne, Osborne Developments and offsite panel specialist Innovare Systems – said it can now focus on becoming a more development and design led business.

It added: “With our offsite manufacturing business, Innovare, able to work closely with our Development, Construction, and Property Services businesses, we believe we are well placed to take the market opportunities to address the challenges presented by climate change.”

The losses for last year were blamed on “delays to a small number of projects caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Osborne added: “These projects have now nearly all been completed and are not expected to generate significant further losses.

“Whilst the loss is disappointing, the board are encouraged by the strides made in realigning the business to focus on sustainable opportunities utilising the group’s core strengths to create a resilient business that is less exposed to market fluctuations.”

Industry veteran Dave Smith is the new Group Chief Executive charged with turning the company around.

He said: “I am delighted with the progress being made in transforming the Osborne business  and I am confident that we will continue to increase our profitability through the  application of our in-house expertise in low carbon design, offsite manufacturing  and delivery, along with increasing volumes of self-build development opportunities.

“As we embark on this next phase of our business plan to 2025/26 I also recognise that  the industry faces the significant external challenges of escalating inflation,  economic and political uncertainty.

“My priorities, above all else will be the safety  and wellbeing of people working on and impacted by our projects, delivering the  promises we make to our customers and investors and carefully managing risks that  balance business resilience with the speed of growth.

“I anticipate that with our unique positioning and offerings in our key markets we will  see revenues return to, and exceed, the levels achieved prior to the sale of  Infrastructure. I am really excited by the huge opportunity in front of us as we  continue our journey to providing a zero-carbon future for our customers.”

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