Balfour Beatty share price falls as it issues £150m profit warning

Emma Haslett
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The construction giant said two-thirds of the hit it's likely to take comes from the UK (Source: Getty)

Maybe that takeover rebuttal wasn't such a good idea? Shares in construction giant Balfour Beatty - which this time last year unceremoniously rejected a merger bid from rival Carillion - fell more than five per cent to 216.4p this morning after it admitted pre-tax profits are likely to be hit by "legacy issues" across its UK, US and Middle East businesses.

The company said this morning that first-half profits, due to be reported in August, are likely to be hit to the tune of £120m to £150m.

"The UK accounts for approximately two-thirds of this amount," it added.

In March the company - which is reportedly the target of another potential takeover offer, this time from the snappily-titled China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation - suspended its divi as it unveiled pre-tax losses of £304m for its full year in 2014.

At the time, shareholders had high hopes for new chief executive and chairman dynamic duo Leo Quinn and Philip Aiken - although those may now be beginning to flag.

Still, Quinn pointed out that today's problems were a continuation of the "issues" he set out in March.

"Legacy challenges remain," he said.

"However, we are making encouraging progress on the group's transformation. The positive response of our people to change, the continuing confidence of our customers in Balfour Beatty's expertise and the first signs of improving cash performance reinforce my conviction in the group's long-term success." Here's hoping.

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