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In 2002, Mowlem posted a 12% rise in profit to £33.1m from £1.9bn of sales thanks mostly to its support services and rail infrastructure contracts. In 2000, Mowlem made £22.3 million in profit, £110,000 of which went to its top director, Dr. Rolf Stomberg.91

Whilst Mowlem Pall Mall (the cleaning, security and hotel services business acquired for £42.7m in 2001) has been successful, its facilities management arm Mowlem Aqumen has not established new major contracts beyond a £450m deal with HSBC.92

In 1987, a consortium including Mowlem, McAlpine and the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) formed UK Detention Services. Mowlem sold its shares in July 1996 following a year in which one prison alone (HMP Blakenhurst) saw the death of five inmates.93

In 2001, John Gains, Mowlem's chief executive, said that attacking PFI had become a 'dangerous national sport' and that he feared that PFI could be 'killed off'.

'I am very anxious because PFI is not only delivering good quality products efficiently and on time, but it is the only way for the government to fulfil its promises of improving public services.'94

Gains went on to receive a Knighthood in the Queens Birthday Honours List in 2003.95

In 2003, Mowlem formed a partnership with Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root (see Corporate Watch's Halliburton profile). The duo were promptly named preferred bidder for a £4bn Ministry of Defence contract to upgrade and provide services to British Army garrisons at Aldershot and around Salisbury Plain. Mowlem appear to have no problem with Kellogg, Brown & Root, which is responsible for such wonders as Guantanamo Bay, saying 'they are controversial if that's how you define it'. The duo also won a contract to create a rail link across the desert in Australia from Alice Springs to Darwin.96

In 1999, one subsidiary, Barclay Mowlem Construction, was fined $175,000 after failing to ensure the health and safety of workers on the Redfern railway station in Australia. One worker suffered severe head injuries causing brain damage when struck by an electrical wire from overhead pylons.97

In February 2004, after 18 months of delays which had began causing 'unquantifiable' damage to the local economy and public confidence, the Court of Appeal upheld a court order requiring Mowlem to allow another contractor on to the site to finish the £26m development of Bath's Roman spa project. But first it must must remove what work it has done – i.e. all the existing paint paint from the pools. A spokesman for Mowlem said: 'We believe that the council's decision to now issue this instruction, for which we are entitled to be paid extra and given additional time, is the right one.'98


91'They benefit from privatisation Fat cats who get PFI cream,' Socialist Worker, 25.08.01. See: Viewed: 29.01.04 92'Unison Companies Update,' Unison, 09.04.03. See: Viewed: 26.01.04 93'Prison Privatisation Report International,' Prison Reform Trust, 01.10.96. See: asp+uk+detention+services+mowlem&hl=en&ie=UTF-8. Viewed: 10.02.04 94'Protests could kill PFI,' Terry Macalister, The Guardian, 01.08.01. See:,8150,530632,00.html. Viewed: 28.01.04 95'John Gains receives knighthood,' Mowlem Aqumen, 17.06.03. See: Viewed: 28.01.04 96'Halliburton unit poised for £4bn UK garrisons deal,' Terry Macalister, The Guardian, 24.07.03. See:,3604,1004707,00.html. Viewed: 28.01.04 97'Builders, rail corp fined over accidents,' 19.01.04, The Age. See: Viewed: 28.01.04 98'Judge rules against Mowlem in Bath Spa row,' Contract Journal, 20.02.04. See: ault.asp?type=17&liArticleID=40655&liSectionID=12&liDF=1. Viewed: 23.02.04