Balfour Beatty trading in line as it pulls out of Network Rail bid

Suzie Neuwirth
INFRASTRUCTURE group Balfour Beatty yesterday said it is trading in line with expectations, as the company confirmed that it is no longer bidding for Network Rail’s track renewal work.

The FTSE 250-quoted firm’s existing contract with the operator of Britain’s rail tracks runs out at the end of the first quarter of 2014.

Balfour Beatty also said that it expects its year-end order book to be flat at £13.5bn, as it continues to shift its construction order book from the UK to the US.

Underlying cash performance was in line with expectations, with average debt for the year of £350m.

Its professional services division is trading as expected, including Australia where cost reduction measures are offsetting continued challenging market conditions.

But the company added that the performance of its German rail business had worsened since the third quarter management statement, primarily due to three loss-making contracts, and that talks with a number of potential buyers for the business remain ongoing.

Balfour Beatty announced earlier this week that it has been named as preferred bidder for a £196m healthcare project in Canada.

Shares closed up 1.55 per cent.