September 10, 2017 / 9:57 PM / a year ago

Crisis-hit Carillion faces new blow as finance chief departs - Sky News

Sept 10 (Reuters) - British construction services company Carillion Plc faces a fresh blow as its finance chief, Zafar Khan, steps down on Monday, just after nine months in the role, Sky News reported on Sunday.

Khan’s exit comes two months after chief executive Richard Howson was ousted as the company issued a full-year profit warning citing difficult markets and deterioration in some contracts.

The firm, which helps maintain British railways and roads, said in July payment problems on four construction contracts nearing or reaching completion had forced it take a provision of 845 million pounds ($1.11 billion).

Carillion’s troubles have been compounded by its debt pile and pension obligations, trouble collection cash from clients. Winning new contracts had become harder as spending in the Middle East adjusts to lower oil prices, and the firm had also experienced some delays in UK public spending decisions since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

Khan's departure was thought to have been agreed with Keith Cochrane, who was named interim chief executive in July, Sky News said. (

Emma Mercer, the finance director of the company’s construction services arm, was expected to replace Khan, Sky News said citing sources.

To conserve cash, the company has said it would suspend dividends for 2017 — saving it 80 million pounds — and would exit its UK partnership contracts as well as construction work in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The second largest contractor for the British government has won multiple public contracts since its July profit warning, including work worth 1.4 billion pounds to help to build Britain’s High Speed 2 railway.

Carillion was not immediately available for a comment outside regular business hours.

$1 = 0.7585 pounds Reporting by Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler

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