Balfour to beat 2013 expectations despite weak Australian unit

Suzie Neuwirth
FTSE 250-listed infrastructure group Balfour Beatty’s share price slid 2.2 per cent yesterday, after the firm lifted its outlook for the year but said weakness in the Australian market will continue to dent the business.

The company said that third-quarter trading had developed as expected, apart from the professional services division, which was affected by a decline in the Australia business in both volume and pricing.

While professional services performed well outside of Australia, Balfour Beatty said it expects full-year profits for the division to be £34m lower year-on-year. It had previously predicted a £24m decline.

However, on a group level Balfour Beatty expects to beat current market expectations for 2013, due to a larger-than-expected contribution from its investments.

The construction and support services units performed in line with expectations.

“While the future prospects of our US building and UK regional construction businesses are improving as expected, some of our markets remain challenging,” said the company.