John F. Hunts sets aside £5.6 million…

CMA provisions made by NFDC members hit £23 million; and we’re not even at the halfway point.

Demolition contractor John F Hunt has become the latest firm to reveal how much it says its involvement with bid-rigging will cost it.

The company is one of 10 that cartel-buster the Competition and Markets Authority publicly named last week as being involved in the scandal.

Hunt has admitted its involvement in bid-rigging, along with seven others. “The bids were rigged by one or more construction firms which agreed to submit bids that were deliberately priced to lose the tender.

In its latest report and accounts for the year to March 2021, which were filed at the end of last month, Hunt said it had set aside £5.6 million for “a matter relating to isolated historic regulatory breaches” – believed to be a reference to the bid-rigging probe.

It said the investigations “have now been settled with the liability agreed at £5.6 million, payment of which has yet to be finalised”.

It brings the cumulative amount of the four firms who have gone public with their provisions for the issue – Keltbray, Careys, McGee and Hunt – to an eye-watering £23 million.

Meanwhile, Erith Group, one of two firms contesting the CMA findings, said turnover fell 18% to £176m in the year to September 2021 but pre-tax profit was up 35% to £11.3m.

The firm said it was the subject of two ongoing regulatory investigations: a fatal accident; and what it referred to as a regulatory investigation. The company says: “The outcome of both matters are considered to be undeterminable at the time and the directors therefore have made no provision in these financial statements for any costs arising from this matter.”