CONSTRUCTION firm Kier Group announced yesterday that it has been awarded over £145m of new construction contract awards in the Middle East since the start of the year.
In Dubai, the property, residential, construction and services group has been named preferred bidder for a £100m mixed-use development and two infrastructure contracts totalling £15m. Meanwhile, the company has also secured a £30m infrastructure project with a leading state-owned company in Saudi Arabia.
Haydn Mursell, Kier chief executive since mid-2014, said: “These international awards are testimony to the strong relationships that we continue to develop with customers in the Middle East and the breadth of construction capability that we can offer customers in this market. These awards further emphasise our continuing strong order book.”
According to Kier, the contract wins build on substantial growth in Kier’s international business. In the last 12 months, Kier has doubled its revenue and secured other prestigious projects in the Middle East for clients in the finance, leisure and education sectors. This includes a £47m Dubai Parks project and a £26m project for Dubai University.
Kier’s shares fell by around 18 per cent during 2014, and analysts attributed this largely to concerns about contracts, which were particularly acute as a result of rival firm Balfour Beatty’s repeated profit warnings.
However, according to data from construction information specialist Glenigan, Kier secured the most contract wins in 2014, beating out Balfour Beatty by taking on 227 contracts, which added up to £1.92bn worth of new work.
Alastair Stewart, analyst at Westhouse Securities, said that Kier’s decline in 2014 was “unwarranted”, adding that the company was an attractive investment “given what we believe to be the conservative nature of Kier’s contract bidding and profit recognition”.
The group confirmed on 1 December that it had held preliminary discussions regarding the potential acquisition of consultancy and services group, Mouchel.
The company’s shares barely moved following yesterday’s announcement, increasing by just 0.06 per cent.