Colas names new chief executive following stalled growth plans

Colas has named Faïçal Lahmamsi as its new chief executive.

Lahmamsi joined the civils firm’s sister company Les Grands Travaux Routiers in Morocco in 2002, and has been UK executive director of national and regional operations at Colas since March 2019. A company statement said his track record includes growing sustainable business in Morocco.

Carl Fergusson, who led the company since September 2018, will be leaving “to pursue other interests”, a spokesperson said. Fergusson had worked for the business for 33 years.

On his appointment in 2018 he said his mission was to “awake the sleeping giant” and make Colas a household name. In 2019, he said that the company, a subsidiary of French multinational Bouygues, aimed to double in size by 2022.

The firm posted losses in 2018, 2019 and 2020, with the pre-tax loss for 2020 – its latest published result – nearly trebling to £2.8m from £1.03m the previous year. Turnover fell from £271.9m in 2018 to £229.8m in 2020.

Construction News revealed last year that Colas was one of the largest construction claimants from the government’s furlough scheme in December 2020 and January 2021. It also paid a dividend to its parent company Colas SA in 2020, which related to its 2019 performance.

Earlier this year, the company scooped the eight-year £328m contract to maintain major roads for National Highways in its largest region across the West Midlands, which had previously been operated by Kier.

A statement from Colas said: “The board of Colas Limited would like to thank Carl for his contribution to the business and wish him luck in his future endeavours.”

Lahmamsi said: “These are exciting times for us at Colas. With ambitious plans for future growth, I am looking forward to leading the organisation in this and collaborating with our clients, partners and suppliers to develop innovative approaches and use the group expertise to provide solutions for decarbonisation.”

Leave a comment