AstraZeneca admits its delay-ridden HQ project will now cost almost $1B
AstraZeneca has taken a lot of heat for its massive new headquarters and R&D facility in Cambridge, U.K., which has been beset by everything from cost overruns to a four-year completion delay. So it’s no wonder the drugmaker buried the latest details about the project on page 27 of its 244-page annual report. AstraZeneca originally planned to spend £330 million on the new building and to start shifting employees there in 2016. Now, the cost has zoomed to £750 million, which translates to roughly $952 million, according to the annual report (PDF). As for the move-in date, the drugmaker is no longer expecting the site to be “fully operational” in 2020, as it previously promised. Instead it will “start occupation” of the site sometime that year. So what’s driving the added costs and delays now? AstraZeneca blamed “the complexity of the build” as well as construction cost inflation due to a weakening pound. The company has also upped its investment in complex technologies such as genomics equipment, it said.