2009 is looking good.

Balfour is bullish about construction orders

Published:  12 August, 2009

LONDON: Balfour Beatty shares rose on news of its 14% jump in first-half pre-tax profits to £108m for the first six months of the year, slightly ahead of analysts' forecasts.

Ian Tyler, chief executive said: "Our strong first-half performance, together with the visibility provided by our significant order book of high quality work, underpins our confidence in the prospects of the group and we anticipate making good progress in 2009."

City analysts caution that building and construction firms may be hard hit by a change of government next year.

"Of course we are anticipating changes in government spending, but we have a broad portfolio and many large infrastructure contracts with utility companies, as well as those with the Government," Mr Tyler said. "Our geographic spread has also widened, with 30% of our business now coming from the US."

Balfour also announced today that it has won a contract with South West Water.

Balfour's forward order book stands at £12.5bn, down slightly from the £12.8bn recorded at the end of last year. It includes a major schools building project in Southwark, work for BAA at Heathrow and on widening the M25. While the rest of the construction sector has floundered, Balfour Beatty was recently promoted to the FTSE 100.

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