Higgs & Hill warns on profits

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The Independent Online
The construction group Higgs & Hill said it expected to make between 40 to 50 redundancies in its construction division as part of a big overhaul of its building operations, writes Magnus Grimond.

The group, which employs around 800 in its contracting and construction arm, will also make a pounds 2.5m provision to cover the cost of the reorganisation which will also include some offices closures. In addition, the group is to make a pounds 3.5m provision against a contract at Guy's Hospital after further delays on the project.

The news came as Higgs & Hill said full-year profits for 1995 were likely to fall below expectations as a result of the continuing difficulties in the group's markets. The company said it expected the trading results to be around break even for the year, as against market forecasts of around pounds 1.3m. Next year should see the benefits of restructuring show through in the figures, Higgs said.

Although reasonably optimistic about the prospects, "a lot will depend on how much work is pushed through from the Government's private finance initiative", according to John Theakston, chief executive.