Balfour Beatty exceeds expectations

UK construction giant Balfour Beatty said today it was on track to make “further good progress” after strong performances in civil engineering, building and rail helped the firm beat profit expectations.

UK construction giant Balfour Beatty said today it was on track to make “further good progress” after strong performances in civil engineering, building and rail helped the firm beat profit expectations.

The London-based company pushed up underlying pre-tax profits 13% to £152m (€223.6m) in 2006, beating consensus forecasts of £149m (€219m).

The firm’s order book rose 20% to a record £9.1bn (€13.4bn) after Balfour Beatty landed major deals including a £363m (€534bn) project to extend the East London Line late last year.

A major £550m (€809m) cabling contract for National Grid and a long-term utilities deal for Northern Gas Networks helped Balfour Beatty’s civil engineering business lead the way with operating profits up 12% to £55m (€81m).

The company, which is also bolstering its US business with the £84m (€123.6m) acquisition of Texas builder Centex Construction, said profits in its core building business were also up 23% to £43m (€63.3m).

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