DUBAI, May 10 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian construction firm Abdullah Abdul Mohsin al-Khodari and Sons swung to a first quarter loss on Wednesday as revenue halved, reflecting the continuing troubles in the kingdom’s building industry.
The company reported a net loss of 17.8 million riyals ($4.8 million) in the three months to March 31, down from a net profit of 2.2 million riyals in the same period of last year.
EFG Hermes had forecast a net loss of 38.0 million riyals during the period.
The firm said some changes to its financial statements had been made as a result of its adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards from Jan. 1.
It said revenue had declined by 50 percent to 194 million riyals during the first quarter, compared with 390.3 million riyals during the same period of last year.
It blamed the decline mainly on the slow progress of ongoing projects, a dip in new project awards, as well as “significant liquidity challenges” facing the industry because of payment delays, reprioritisation of projects by the government and an extended slowdown in the sector.
Delayed payments by the government were a big drag on the economy last year, and in December authorities promised they would in future make all payments within a less stringent target of 60 days.
Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said the government was so far this year paying over 90 percent of its bills to the private sector within 30 days of the due date.
$1 = 3.7503 riyals Reporting by Tom Arnold