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Fri October 23 2020

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Year of steady growth for Balfour Beatty

12 Dec 19 Britain’s largest construction contractor has delivered modest growth and steady profits in 2019, according to a trading update today.

Chief executive Leo Quinn
Chief executive Leo Quinn

Balfour Beatty says that group revenue for 2019 will 5% up on last year’s £7.8bn and group operating profit was ‘broadly in line with’ last year’s £205m – which is slightly ahead of the board’s expectations, following additional Infrastructure Investment disposals in the second half of the year.

Average monthly net cash is now forecast to be around £310m for 2019, ahead of the previous £280m to £300m guidance and way ahead of 2018's £194m.  

The year-end order book is expected to be more than £14bn, significantly higher than the £12.6bn with which it started the year.  The order book does not include work won on the HS2 civils or station contracts, which will only be included when the full project is given notice to proceed.

Group chief executive Leo Quinn said: “We expect to deliver another year of profitable managed growth in 2019.  The growing order book and strong balance sheet demonstrate our progress in positioning the group well to deliver increased value to shareholders.”

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The only blots on the landscape are a couple of legal matters.

The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) project achieved operational completion in February 2019 but lawyers for all sides are still fighting over who must pay what.

And in the USA, Balfour Beatty Communities (BBC) is under fire for falsifying housing maintenance records at an air force base in Oklahoma. Balfour Beatty has subsequently conducted its own investigations and reviewed works orders across all 21 US Air Force bases managed by BBC. 

Balfour Beatty's full year results for 2019 will be published on 11th March 2020.

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