Carillion confident for 2013 as fresh contracts lift order book

SUPPORT services firm Carillion yesterday said it had secured new orders worth £650m in the first seven weeks of 2013, as it revealed pre-tax profit had risen by over a quarter last year.

Despite the pre-tax profit rise to £179.5m, revenues fell 13 per cent to £4.4bn as it resized its UK construction operation.

Carillion chairman, Philip Rogerson, admitted market conditions would remain “challenging” this year, but said the firm’s strong order book and “substantial pipeline” of potential new contracts made it “resilient”.

The firm expects to grow its support services arm and double annual revenues in both the Middle East and Canada to around £1bn by 2015.

And according to the FTSE 250-listed firm’s calculations, likely contracts mean that it has already secured 75 per cent of its expected revenues for this year.

It increased its full-year dividend by two per cent to 17.25p.

However, Carillion’s debt trebled to £155.8m which it said was primarily due to the rescaling of its UK construction arm, and the acquisition of Bouchier Group – the Canadian support services firm it bought a 49 per cent stake in at the end of last year.

Carillion’s total order book fell by £1bn to £18.1bn last year – which it blamed on the sale of equity investments in Public Private Partnership projects.

Shares in Carillion fell 1.5 per cent to 312.7p.