UK-based multinational contractor Balfour Beatty has released its half-year results, showing an underlying loss from operations of £14 million (€15.6 million).
The company said the loss – which compares with a profit of £72 million (€80 million) in the same period in 2019 – was primarily due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
At the same time, the group’s order book increased over 20%, to £17.5 billion (€19.4 billion), up from the £14.3 billion (€15.9 billion) reported in its 2019 year-end report.
The retained strength of the company is also seen in its half-year net cash figure of £563 million (€626 million), compared with last year’s £512 million (€569 million). As a result, the board stated it will look to reinstate the dividend ”as soon as is deemed appropriate”.
In its release, Balfour Beatty said that if chosen markets recover as expected, the 2021 outlook for earnings-based businesses should be broadly in line with 2019.
Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty group chief executive, said, “Since the Covid-19 crisis broke, our mission has been to safely manage through it while protecting the group’s strengths. That meant balancing the needs of all our stakeholders. We have kept sites open wherever safe to do so, prioritised supply chain payments and supported staff.”
He added, “The financial impacts of COVID-19 are unavoidable; but they will pass. Since the start of Build to Last [Balfour Beatty’s recently-launched transformation programme], our balance sheet, order book and expert capability are at record levels. We look forward with confidence to returning to profitable managed growth, and to delivering ongoing value for all our stakeholders.”