Land Engineering Scotland in administration; idverde steps in

Scottish landscaping and civil engineering firm Land Engineering Scotland has fallen into administration after struggling with profits, with parts of the business sold to idverde for an undisclosed sum.

Administrator EY was appointed on 30 May after the company found itself in difficulties. It last filed accounts at Companies House on 26 May 2016 for the year to 31 August 2015, where it recorded a pre-tax loss of £192,000 on a turnover of £39.9m, citing the economic downturn, an exceptionally mild winter and delays, reductions or cancellations to the contract awards of key customers.

EY sold Land Engineering’s services, responsive and winter divisions and the company’s interest in contracts at Grangemouth, Craighouse and Quartermile to idverde, saving 249 jobs. Services on these contracts will be delivered by idverde with no disruption to clients, EY said. 

The BALI Award-winning company based in Skypark in Finnieston, Glasgow, had several site offices in Scotland and delivered civil engineering, hard and soft landscaping, natural stone paving and public realm, grounds maintenance and winter services, to both the commercial and public sectors. It also offered landscape design. In the 2013/14 financial year it made a profit of £97,000 on a turnover of £42.9m.

Joint administrators Colin Dempster and Andrew Davison of EY’s Restructuring team said it had not been possible to find a buyer for the remainder of the company’s business. 135 employees have been made redundant with immediate effect and 10 have been kept on to help administrators.

Davison said: "The market has become increasingly competitive for the company and has impacted on its profitability, particularly in relation to the company’s construction business. Various options have been explored by the directors to address these challenges. Unfortunately none of these options were ultimately successful and the directors therefore took the decision to appoint administrators to help safeguard elements of the business. This has been achieved through the sale we have completed to idverde.

"While it has been possible to save more than 60 per cent of the total jobs through this sale, it is with regret that redundancies had to be made in relation to the remainder of the company’s business. We are doing all that we can to assist these members of staff to make their relevant claims and are providing them with access to impartial advice to help them face the future."

The rest of the company is still available for sale. 

Land Engineering Scotland won the Precision Civil Engineering in a Landscaping Project and the Best Innovation/Technology used in a Landscape Scheme awards at last year's BALI Awards for The Maze, Dumfries House in Ayrshire. The company also won several awards in previous years. 

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