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Costain boss Andrew Wylie set to leave after 14 years in charge

Andrew Wyllie, the chief executive of the construction and civil engineering giant Costain has announced his retirement after 14 years at the helm of the firm.

Wyllie will leave Costain to pursue a non-executive career and will be replaced by Alex Vaughan, currently director of the group's natural resources division, who will takeover in May.

Vaughan joined Costain in 1992 and was appointed to the executive board in 2006 and has played a leading role in Costain’s transformation into a smart infrastructure solutions business. The firm say the incoming boss has delivered significant growth in profit and margin in the natural resources division.

Wyllie will remain as CEO until 7 May and will continue to be employed by the company until 6 September.

Commenting on his retirement, Wyllie said: “It has been a great privilege for me to be chief executive of Costain for the last fourteen years. Much has been achieved over that time as a result of the combined efforts of an outstanding team and I would like to thank my colleagues for their support and commitment. With a clear strategy, strong balance sheet and a record order book, the business is in an excellent position to deliver further growth in the future.”

The announcement comes as the company reported growth in underlying profit, enhanced margins and a strong order book in its latest financial year.

In the year to 31 December 2018, Costain reported underlying pre-tax profits of £49.7m, up from £43.8m 12 months earlier, although reported pre-tax profit slipped to £40.2m from £41.8m. Costain also reported an average month-end net cash balance of £77.1m during the year.

Costain’s chair Dr Paul Golby, thanked the outgoing chief executive for everything he has done over 14 years and said Wyllie could be extremely proud of what he has achieved leaving the group in good health.

On the full-year results for 2018, Golby hailed "another strong performance" and highlighted its order book being a record £4.2bn.

He added: "This success has been driven by providing smart infrastructure solutions that expertly integrate consultancy, complex delivery, technology and asset optimisation services. Costain is at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving UK infrastructure market, working with our clients on a long-term, strategic basis to deliver their progressively larger and more complex investment programmes. This increasingly differentiated strategic positioning underpins our ambition for continued growth."