Carillion plots new contracts in Middle East

Suzie Neuwirth
SUPPORT services and construction firm Carillion yesterday unveiled half-year results which were in line with management’s expectations, as it eyes growth in the Middle East to offset a decline in the UK market.

Underlying pre-tax profits rose by two per cent to £73.5m, but revenue dropped nine per cent to £1.96bn, mainly due to the planned rescaling of its UK construction business.

Carillion said its order book had grown to £18.4bn from £18.1bn at the end of 2012 after it won a number of new contracts, including a £400m deal to develop Battersea Power Station.

“We think we’ve come to the bottom of rescaling UK construction,” chief executive Richard Howson told City A.M. “We might see a small impact on revenues in the second half of the year but it will not be much. I expect similar full-year revenues to last year.”

Key growth is anticipated to come from new construction and services contracts in the Middle East, namely Qatar, Oman and the UAE, as well as Canada, he added. Howson said Carillion would consider a bolt-on acquisition in the infrastructure services sector in Canada, where it does not feel it could grow organically like it can in the Middle East, although he said that is unlikely to happen this year.