Kier profit forecast ahead of expectations

UK construction group Kier cheered signs of revival in commercial building markets today as it flagged up annual profits at the top end of market hopes.

The Bedfordshire-based firm said it had secured high volumes of work and added that previously mothballed private commercial projects were being resurrected as funding becomes available.

The upbeat comments, which lifted shares 4%, are welcome after gloom in the sector last week as the British government took the axe to the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project.

Kier is braced for further cuts but said its exposure to the BSF project was not "material".

The firm said its building business was focused on more "non-discretionary" areas such as power and utilities, while it also hopes for a boost from the recently approved Crossrail cross-London rail link.

Kier also hopes to grow revenues in overseas markets as it establishes itself in markets including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, and Hong Kong.

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