Costain’s order book jumps by 20 per cent to a record £2.9bn

Suzie Neuwirth
ENGINEERING group Costain yesterday said it secured over £900m of new contracts in the first half of the year, while its forward order book grew by 20 per cent to a record £2.9bn.

New contracts included a £450m programme for Thames Water, a £300m contract with Crossrail and a highways framework deal with Transport for London which includes strengthening Hammersmith Flyover.

Adjusted pre-tax profit fell by almost half compared to the same period in 2012, down to £8.4m.

However, last year’s result was enhanced by a one-off £10.5m profit on transferring assets to its pension fund.

Costain incurred £3.7m in pre-tax costs from its failed takeover bid for peer May Gurney, which ate into this year’s profits.

The London-listed firm has increased its interim dividend from 3.5p to 3.75p.

“This was an encouraging start to the year…against a backdrop of market conditions which continue to be challenging,” said chairman David Allvey.