European construction output in May was 6.7% down on previous year and only slightly better than April’s low figures.
Compared with May 2011, production in May 2012 dropped by 8.4% in the Eurozone and by 6.9% across all 27 countries of the EU.
Production in construction rose by 0.1% in Eurozone in May compared with April and by 1.6% across the whole of the EU. But the rise is on figures that had decreased by 3.7% and 6.9% respectively in April. Performance in the UK was up 6.3% on April.
The estimates were released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Among the member states with available for May 2012, production in construction rose in eight, fell in six and remained stable in the Czech Republic. The highest increases were registered in the United Kingdom (+6.3%), Romania (+5.0%) and Portugal (+3.6%), and the largest decreases in Slovenia (-17.5%), Hungary (-4.1%) and Spain (-3.3%).
Building construction dropped by 0.2% in the Euro area, but increased by 1.8% in the EU27, after -3.6% and -7.7% respectively in April 2012. Civil engineering rose by 0.6% in the Eurozone area and by 0.7% across the EU, after -3.9% and -4.8% respectively in the previous month.
In terms of the annual comparison, production in construction fell in 12 and rose in three. The largest decreases were registered in Spain (-24.8%), Slovenia (-23.7%) and Portugal (-16.4%), and the increases in Romania (+21.1%), Poland (+6.5%) and Germany (+2.2%). Building construction declined by 8.6% in the Euro area and by 6.3% across all 27 countries, after -5.9% and -5.1% respectively in April 2012. Civil engineering decreased by 9.3% in the Eurozone and by 10.9% across the EU, after -9.3% and -10.9% respectively in the previous month.
Source: The Construction Index
- Eurozone May Industrial Production Surprises to the Upside (247wallst.com)
- Eurozone posts soft retail sales (bbc.co.uk)
India and the UK have agreed to work towards a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in areas related to urban development.
India is keen to benefit from experience of UK, said India’s minister of urban development Kamal Nath. The announcement was made following a meeting with UK minister for decentralisation and cities Greg Clark.
The MoU would be aimed at cooperation and deepening the engagement between India and UK in the areas such as land economics, sustainable masterplanning and transport planning. Another area of cooperation would be the sharing of knowledge in the formulation of Public private partnership models.
The challenges of urbanisation in India were huge, said Mr Nath, both in significance and scale. The government of India is keen on bridging the urban infrastructure deficit by benefiting from the wealth of experience of the UK government in the urban sector.
Mr Nath also participated in a meeting of the UK India Urban Infrastructure Group organized by the UK Business Council and UK Trade & Investment. The UK India Urban Infrastructure Group has proposed conducting an urban regeneration scoping study. The above group has also proposed to cooperate in the development of a regeneration masterplan, This could be demonstrated by adopting a satellite town to deploy UK expertise. The meeting was attended by UK companies including Arup, Biwater International, Clifford Chance, JCB, KPMG, Mott MacDonald and Serco.
The India Imperative Road Show.
India’s GDP growth has returned to a level in excess of 8.5% p.a. despite the issues within the broader global economy. This positive growth generates significant ongoing opportunities for UK plc. The UK coalition government has placed India at the heart of its global economic dialogues and through the upgraded diplomatic language of ‘special relationship’ is focusing on increased bilateral trade with India.
According to Ian Gomes, Chairman of High Growth Markets at KPMG in the UK, there are three compelling reasons why India should prominently figure in every business’s strategy – (i) it’s a market for all products, (ii) it serves as a cost reduction platform and (iii) it is a source of innovation and technology.
The potential rewards for doing business in India are thus significant and quite obvious. There are however domestic nuances that companies looking at India need to be aware of. The Indian market requires thorough preparation and a long term view.
The India Imperative road-show, which follows from a joint report titled ‘The India Imperative’ published and launched by UKIBC and KPMG at the UKIBC Annual Summit in March , aims to highlight some of these nuances and provide a roadmap to UK companies looking at doing business in this rapidly emerging market.
Some of the issues that our panel of India experts will be looking at addressing include:
- How India can be a platform for future growth and revenue opportunities
- What the competitive landscape looks like
- What the challenges are and how can these can be navigated
Who should attend?
International directors and senior executives of UK companies looking at doing business in India or expanding their existing presence in the market
When and Where?
Wednesday 22nd June - Leeds
KPMG Leeds Office
1 The Embankment
Thursday 23 June - Birmingham
Radisson Blu Hotel
12 Holloway Circus
Attire: Business Attire
View Event Summary
A statement from the firm said it will also establish a 64 megawatts (MW) power plant of which 50 MW shall be sold to the national grid. Discussions are currently ongoing between the firm and the Ministry of Energy on a 25-year power purchase agreement.
The firm acquired all necessary permits and licences, which include permission from the Ministry of Industrialisation and 99 years of mining rights covering all limestone deposits in Pokot.
A delegation from the Indian firm visited the country in January 2010 and was assured of the government’s support in the completion of the Pokot cement facility as well as the power plant.
The firm paid Ksh.120 million ($1.5 million) to about 100 pastoral families to pave the way for the establishment of the plant with a production capacity of 120,000 metric tonnes of cement per year.
The group expects to directly employ more than 1,700 people and over 5,000 people indirectly.
Source: How We Made It In Africa
Hundreds of jobs at multi-disciplinary giant Atkins could be at risk following next week’s comprehensive spending review
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Atkins chief executive Keith Clarke admitted that “the bottom isn’t quite there” on job cuts. When asked whether this means hundreds or thousands, Clarke said: “Not thousands”.
Next week’s review is expected to bring massive cuts in government capital spend. Atkins has said that 80% of its UK business is reliant on the public sector.
Staff numbers at the firm, which employs some 240 architects in the UK and more than 560 worldwide, have already shrunk from 18,600 in October 2008 to 15,500 now.
An Atkins spokesman said: “Atkins has said for a long while that it is prepared for tighter government spending in the UK and will continue to work with our clients to understand the impact of their cuts and how they might affect us.
“Over the past two years we have become adept at responding to clients in the public and private sectors around the world who have put pressure on our fees and who are reducing the scope [of], or even cancelling, projects.”
The news comes as Atkins completed its acquisition of Florida-based construction management company PBSJ for £178 million. The firm is looking to break into the US market where President Obama has committed to significant infrastructure spending, Atkins said that the acquisition of PBSJ would balance its “geographic presence”, with a third of its revenue coming from the US, and provide a strong platform for growth.
The Canadian firm that rescued Archial from administration has revealed that it looked at buying the business last year, but was put off by the size of its debts
Victor Smith, the chief executive of new owner, Toronto-based Ingenium Group, said it had looked at buying Archial 18 months ago as part of a plan to snap up a UK company to form a regional base for its international work. “[We were] dissuaded from progressing this interest at the time due to Archial’s historical debt situation,” he added.
According to the practice’s last report and accounts, debts at Archial then stood at £13.5 million.
"We were dissuaded from progressing due to Archial’s historical debt situation"
Archial went into administration for eight days last month after the banks froze its accounts following the decision by HM Revenue & Customs to issue a winding up notice against the firm, which owed it more than £3 million.
Ingenium bought most of the business from administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is now deciding how much creditors will get back.
Smith said “there were no plans” to replace Chris Littlemore, the Archial chief executive at the time of its administration, and added that he does not expect job losses at the 340-strong business.
“The ability of the new entity to retain jobs was a significant consideration taken into account by PwC,” he added.
Joint administrator David Chubb said a number of firms had registered interest in Archial’s 60-strong Asia business, which is not in administration, but said any sale would not be rushed through.
Up to 20 firms bid to buy stricken firm before knot tied with Canadian company Ingenium
Archial was rescued from the brink of total collapse thanks to a lightning-quick deal, with up to 20 potential buyers being whittled down to one in just three days.
The firm announced on Tuesday that it had been bought for an undisclosed sum by privately owned Canadian business Ingenium, a move which Chris Littlemore, who has been retained as Archial chief executive, claimed would result in a “bright future” for the company.
The remarkable level of interest shown in Archial means that, in less than a week, it has gone from the peril of being in administration over millions of pounds-worth of debt to being part of a larger international and multi-disciplinary firm with all 340 UK staff retained on existing contracts.
But the deal thrashed out by administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers will not be such good news for creditors; and shareholders – who received an upbeat trading update from Archial in May – will not receive a penny.
Partner at PwC and joint administrator, David Chubb, revealed he had been handling “15-20” companies bidding to buy Archial last Thursday with the parties involved working through Sunday night to close the deal with Ingenium, the latest in a string of Canadian firms to buy up British practices.
“We had terrific interest,” he told BD. “It was a really good range of industry players. On Friday evening we had a shortlist of five. We later brought that down to two bidders which we looked at through the weekend.
“Circumstances dictated the speed but I would say this couldn’t have gone much better. We had immense challenges last week keeping the business alive in administration.”
It also emerged this week that the founder of Archial’s predecessor SMC Group sold his shares at the beginning of the year.
Stewart McColl had a 3.5% stake in Archial, but sold all 8,399,689 shares on January 28. At the time, the share price was 7 pence, giving his sale a value of £587,978.23.
At its peak in 2007, Archial shares traded at £1.89 but had fallen to 1.5 pence when they were suspended earlier this month.
Prior to going into administration, Archial was involved in at least four legal claims against debtors over unpaid fees, including one against construction and oil tycoon Ian Suttie.
The one part of Archial not acquired by Ingenium is the Sparch Asia arm, which employs around 60 people.
Current Archial projects include much of Birmingham’s BSF work; London’s 251-room Puddle Dock hotel; living quarters and leisure facilities for construction workers for a new Total E&P UK Limited gas processing plant in the Shetland Islands, the £46.5 million Plymouth Life Centre and Alsop Sparch’s newly completed Michael Faraday nursery and primary school in south London.
DUBAI — Arabtec Saudi Arabia, a Saudi joint venture of the Dubai-based construction giant Arabtec Holding, on Monday said it bagged an order from Saudi Binladin Group to construct 5,000 villas valued at $1.33 billion.
The villa construction and site preparation in a new housing project in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia will take place over 48 months, Arabtec, the region’s largest listed contractor, said in an e-mailed statement.
Arabtec Saudi Arabia is 40 per cent owned by Arabtec Holding of Dubai, while CPC Services, a member of the Saudi Binladin Group, holds 35 per cent stake and Prime International Group Services has 20 per cent stake.
“The award of this project demonstrates the strategic importance of the Saudi Market for Arabtec. This is the second major project awarded to Arabtec Saudi Arabia LLC, the first being 46 buildings, part of the Princess Noura University project in Riyadh,” Arabtec chief executive Riad Kamal said.
Companies like Arabtec are increasingly diversifying away from dependence on contracts in Dubai and the UAE and pursuing new sources of income in countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Qatar.
Arabtec shares closed Monday trading down one per cent at Dh2.0.
Source: Khaleej Times
Collapsed architectural practice Archial has been sold to multi-disciplinary Canadian firm Ingenium.
The 400-strong Archial, which was led by chief executive Chris Littlemore and went into administration last week over unpaid taxes, will now become part of a new firm, Ingenium Archial Ltd.
Administrators from Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) would not comment on how much Ingenium had paid for Archial, its Asian arm Alsop Sparch and other “assets”, all of which have been trading as normal since going into administration, according to PwC.
The privately owned Ingenium Group employs 800 people working across disciplines including architecture, engineering, project management and interior design, with offices in Canada, the United States, Asia and the Middle East.
David Chubb, joint administrator and partner at PwC said: “We are delighted to be able to secure this sale and provide business continuity for customers, suppliers and employees alike in these uncertain times.
“Trading a professional services business in administration is extremely difficult and this success has only been possible as a result of the support of all these stakeholders. I would like to thank them for their assistance throughout this difficult period.”
Shares in Archial Group PLC were suspended from the Alternative Investment Market on September 17. Following the insolvency of its companies, there will not be any value realised for the holders of the suspended shares, PwC said.