Balfour Beatty predicts strong second half

By Sarah Ann McCay11 July 2013

Balfour Beatty expects profits to hold steady in 2013 despite a weak start to the year in some markets.

The international infrastructure group said that the level and mix of its order book remained broadly unchanged from £16 billion (€18.5 billion) at the end of March, as it provided a trading update in early July ahead of its results for the half-year, which will be announced on August 14.

The firm said that depressed activity in Australia had adversely impacted its professional services profitability, as projects continue to be cancelled in the natural resources sector. However, this fall should be partially offset by contract settlements in the second half and improved performance in Asia and the Middle East.

In the UK, first-half performance in the construction sector has been weak, with results further impacted by the £50 million (€58 million) profit shortfall announced at the end of April. However, Balfour Beatty expects its losses in the first half to be recouped in the second half.

Meanwhile, in the US, expectations are high for an increase in revenue in construction in the second half.

Looking ahead, the company said that it expected “profits to be significantly more skewed to the second half than in previous years, with the full-year result remaining in line with management’s expectations.”

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