KIER Group, the troubled construction and infrastructure giant, has slumped to a “disappointing” £245 million loss after being weighed down by hefty restructuring costs.

And the company, which employs around 200 staff in Scotland, warned Brexit has the potential to disrupt its operations, “particularly in relation to materials, people and the supply chain”. It has set up a Brexit task force as part of its preparations for the UK leaving the European Union (EU).

Kier swung to a loss from a profit of £106m last time after a tumultuous year, which saw it launch a major restructuring exercise to slash debt and boost cash flow as the company battled to avoid a similar fate to failed infrastructure peer Carillion.

READ MORE: Construction firm Kier to cut 1,200 jobs

Kier racked up exceptional charges totalling £341m, with the costs relating to steps taken to sell off its housebuilding, property and environment services and facilities management businesses.

The review was launched by chief executive Andrew Davies shortly after succeeding Haydn Mursel, who stepped down in January after a £250m rights issue was snubbed by around two-thirds of investors.

The full amount was raised because the rights issue had been underwritten.

Kier had launched the rights issue to shore up its balance sheet after a number of lenders had signalled their intention to reduce exposure to the construction and related sectors, following the high-profile collapse of Carillion. Kier had also noted “increasing pressure from stakeholders to shorten supply chain payment terms”.

Kier said the restructuring leaves it with a simpler structure, focused on four core divisions - regional building, highways, utilities and infrastructure.

The company reported revenue of £4.5 billion for the year, broadly unchanged.

READ MORE: New Kier boss begins with business review

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “The restructuring plan is moving slowing, but it is making progress nonetheless.”

Kier’s restructuring will lead to 1,200 redundancies across the UK, which includes a reduction in its workforce in Scotland and the north of England to around 200 from 220.

The Scottish division is focused on construction work, and is active on a range of publicly-procured projects for hospitals and schools. It also has a pipeline of work in the heritage sector, with current projects including the £21.5m redevelopment of the Citizens Theatre and the £66m renovation of the Burrell Collection in Glasgow.

Kier’s healthcare work in Scotland includes the first phase of the NHS Golden Jubilee National Hospital’s £50m elective care facility expansion. That will see it build the new Golden Jubilee Eye Centre.

In education, Kier is currently on site building the new Alness Academy in the Highlands, a £32m project.

Gordon Reid, Kier’s business development manager for Scotland, said the company is optimistic over its outlook for Scotland, noting that it was committed to investing in the business north of the Border.

But he conceded that Brexit uncertainty means “decision making is a bit slow” on the client side. “That is just down to a degree of uncertainty,” Mr Reid added.

He noted that the firm would like to win more work in the private sector

Mr Davies said of the results: “Kier experienced a difficult year, resulting in a disappointing financial performance. However, we are building firm foundations for the future: we have a new management tea, in place, we have defined our strategic priorities and we are taking decisive actions to deliver them.”

“We have a strong order book, reflecting the strength of the underlying business, the quality of our people and the group’s capabilities. The sale of Kier Living is progressing well and we are exploring options to accelerate the release of capital from our Property business. The re-shaping of the Group is designed to reduce its overall indebtedness during FY2020 and to restore Kier to robust financial health.”

Kier said chairman Philip Cox will retire and step down from the board as soon as a successor is found. Mr Cox joined the board on July 1, 2017, and has been chairman since August 31 that year.