Positive performance from Balfour Beatty

By Becca Durrant04 March 2010

Ian Tyler, Balfour Beatty chief executive

Ian Tyler, Balfour Beatty chief executive

Balfour Beatty reported a strong performance for the full year 2009 with pre-tax profits up +7 % to UK£ 267 million (€ 295 million) compared to the UK£ 249 million (€ 275 million) recorded in 2008. Group sales were up by +8 % to UK£ 8,9 billion (€ 9,9 billion) compared to the UK£ 8,3 billion (€ 9,1 billion) reached last year.

The company's order backlog also increased in 2009, totalling UK£ 14,1 billion (€ 15,5 billion), a + 10 % rise from the UK£ 12,8 billion (€ 14,1 billion) recorded in 2008.

In a statement the company said 2009 was a particularly strong year for its construction businesses, especially in US building. There was also a good overall performance in the UK construction sector despite the difficult market, although positive results in road building were partially offset by a reduction in its smaller ground engineering business.

The construction business in Hong Kong also fared well last year with Gammon Construction (in which Balfour Beatty has a 50 % shareholding) seeing a +10 % increase in orders year-on-year. The acquisition of Parson's Brinckerhoff in October 2009 gives the company further exposure to Asia, as well as Australia, the statement added.

Meanwhile, in the Middle East, performance was steady but the market for new construction in Dubai remains difficult.

Looking to the future of the construction business, the Group's chief executive, Ian Tyler said that while the company expects civil infrastructure to strengthen, this will be offset by reductions in Balfour Beatty's building business and so overall a similar level of performance is anticipated in 2010.

Speaking about the Group's overall results, Mr Tyler added, "We have created a high-quality business operating across the infrastructure lifecycle, which is uniquely placed in major markets to benefit from long-term growth in investment in infrastructure.

"The breadth of our portfolio, enhanced by the acquisition of Parsons Brinckerhoff, means our business is resilient. In spite of economic uncertainty, we remain confident about the prospects of the Group."

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