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Drake & Scull CEO attributes loss to legacy issues

The $214.4m net loss recorded by Drake & Scull International in 2016 was largely the result of legacy issues outside of the UAE, according to CEO, Wael Allan

Wael Allan (pictured above) says that Drake & Scull will work to redress all of its remaining legacy issues in 2017.
Wael Allan (pictured above) says that Drake & Scull will work to redress all of its remaining legacy issues in 2017.

The $214.4m net loss recorded by Drake & Scull International (DSI) in 2016 was largely the result of legacy issues outside of the UAE, according to chief executive officer, Wael Allan.

Allan told Construction Week that historic project cancellations in Saudi Arabia, and protracted disputes in the kingdom and Qatar, were major contributors to the deficit.

DSI succeeded in narrowing its net loss by $40.6m (AED149.1m) in 2016, compared with the $255m (AED936.6m) deficit reported during the previous year.

The company aims to redress all remaining legacy issues during the course of 2017.

“I think that what you are seeing, in terms of losses declared, are legacy issues outside of the UAE,” said Allan.

“For instance, we had a number of projects cancelled in Saudi Arabia, and we’ve had some protracted disputes in both the kingdom and Qatar. But in 2016, we improved significantly. The underlying performance of DSI, and its profitability, are sound."

While unwilling to comment on when DSI is likely to return to profit, Allan said that the firm would continue to work to redress its remaining legacy issues.

“I don’t really want to put any time stipulation on [the company’s return to profitability], for obvious reasons,” he explained. “But what I can tell you is that we are improving our productivity and profitability.

“Our aims for 2017 are to close all remaining legacy issues, win a number of projects that we feel are key to our long-term sustainability, and execute those projects to double-digit profitability.

“So, in 2018, DSI will be moving forward with its true underlying performance,” Allan added.

To read the full interview with DSI’s Wael Allan, check out issue 644 of Construction Week.

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