Wood Group CEO to retire as annual losses narrow
Wood Group (John)
Wood Group chief executive Robin Watson on Wednesday said he was retiring as the company narrowed annual losses and forecast higher revenues for the coming year, but warned of a cash drag.
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The company said 2021 pre-tax losses came in at $80.6m compared with $148.6m a year earlier.
Wood said it expected higher revenue across its business supported by growth in its order book, with revenue in our order book for 2022 of $4.65bn, up 6% on 2021.
It also pulled guidance as it waited to sell off its Built Environment business, which would have a “significant impact”. It expected the sale to go through the second quarter.
The company said current-year cash performance would be hit by ongoing exceptional cash drags including Serious Fraud Office payments, restructuring costs, onerous leases and outflows on its Aegis Poland contract.
“As such we expect any improvement in our net debt to come from the proceeds from the sale of Built Environment,” it added, warning that net debt was expected to be higher in June than at December 2021.
Watson said he considered the sale of the Built Environment unit as “the start of the next strategic phase” for the company and “an appropriate time for me to step down as chief executive”.
"2021 was a challenging year for the Group, with the ongoing pressures of the pandemic, mixed market conditions across our businesses and continued challenges in projects impacting our performance.”