Interserve better placed than Carillion amid financial concerns

Interserve MENA FM director Saeed Ahmed lays all fears to rest, and gives an update on the company’s health

Saeed Ahmed.
Saeed Ahmed.

Folllowing Carillion’s closure in the UK, concerns emerged over another UK-based construction and support services company, Interserve.

Financial press from around the world feared Interserve could find itself in choppy waters after the Cabinet Office in the UK had set up a team of officials to monitor the company following worries over its financial health.

Interserve shares initially slumped by 15% after the report, before recovering to limit the fall to 1%.

The Cabinet Office, however, clarified that it was common practice to monitor the financial health of all its strategic suppliers, including Interserve. “We do not believe that any of our strategic suppliers are in a comparable position to Carillion,” a spokesperson was quoted saying.

In the Middle East, Interserve has been in operation since 1981, delivering a range of services.

It operates in hospitality; oil and gas; retail; transport and infrastructure.

Interserve employs more than 25,000 (as of 2015) through 18 of its companies established in the region.

On the FM front, Interserve FM, in partnership with Khansaheb, helps maintain several thousand assets across the UAE and the wider Gulf region.

fmME contacted Interserve MENA FM director Saeed Ahmed to understand the impact of developments in the UK on its MENA, and GCC operations.

Ahmed said: “Our most recent set of financial results, six months to the end of June 2017, showed that our international construction and support services business both reported a profit during that period. We also recently announced that our 2017 performance was in-line with expectations outlined in October.

“Earlier this month we announced that we expect our 2017 performance to be in-line with expectations outlined in October and that our transformation plan is expected to deliver £40m-£50m benefit by 2020,” he said.

He concluded: “We expect our 2018 operating profit to be ahead of current market expectations and we continue to have constructive discussions with lenders over longer-term funding.”

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