Roberts Co paid just $1 for Probuild
Roberts will take on the construction of CSL’s Elizabeth North headquarters.

Roberts Co paid just $1 for Probuild

Roberts Co, the building contractor founded by Rich Lister Andrew Roberts, seized the chance to acquire the Victorian assets of failed builder Probuild for just $1 as revenue in Roberts’ home market of NSW dropped by more than two-fifths, newly published accounts show.

In its financial report for the 2022 year to June lodged with the corporate regulator, Roberts Co disclosed that revenue in its NSW operations sank almost 44 per cent to $211 million from a year earlier as it completed three projects in the largest state.

The decline in NSW revenue triggered a slump in net after-tax profit to $6 million from $4 million. At a group level – including the newly established Victorian division – the revenue dropped almost 20 per cent to $300 million and net-after tax profit ticked up to $8.5 million from $8.4 million.

Outgoing chief executive Alison Mirams, who will next year move into the role of executive chair, was not available for comment on Thursday.

In the accounts Roberts Co said it planned to expand its NSW business, following the year in which it completed three projects – the Concord Repatriation Hospital redevelopment in Sydney’s inner west, schools in the Meadowbank Education and Employment Precinct and Holsworthy hospital in the city’s south-west.

The value of NSW construction under way or about to commence was $800 million, less than the Victorian equivalent figure of $860 million.

In April, when Roberts Co signed to take on the Victorian Probuild projects Ms Mirams told The Australian Financial Review her company would use its newly acquired Victorian footprint to target schools, arts, prisons and courts work.

The financial documents also show that in March, ahead of completing the Probuild deals, Roberts Co appointed defence sector head Kevin Gomez as a director of its soon-to-be-created Victorian operation, alongside Probuild managing director Luke Stambolis.

Roberts Co also disclosed it paid just $1 to acquire six Probuild projects in Victoria in the deal that completed in April. According to the financial statements, the Probuild assets and liabilities Roberts Co acquired balanced each other out.

The group’s defects warranty provisions also leapt from zero a year earlier to $10.9 million. In Victoria this sum was just $210,000, but in NSW it was $10.7 million.