Carillion sees profit hike as orders boom

 
City A.M. Reporter
SUPPORT services and construction firm Carillion said a brimming order book would fuel growth in 2012 as it posted 2011 profits at the top of expectations.

But the British group, which maintains railways and military bases and has a strong construction presence in Canada and the Middle East, warned trading conditions would be challenging.

Underlying pre-tax profits for 2011 were £212m, at the top end of analyst estimates, on revenues flat at £5.1bn after the group reduced its UK construction and civil engineering division in favour of overseas markets.

The group, which aims to double revenue in both the Middle East and Canada to around £1bn by 2015, said its pipeline of opportunities had grown across its markets, with support services – which generates around half of group operating profit – up by almost half to £12.3bn.

Driven by huge infrastructure spend the group has also targeted Public Private Partnership work in Canada’s healthcare markets, as well as more construction work in the Middle East where the group won its first contract in Qatar last year and has targeted expansion in Saudi Arabia.

The group has begun 2012 with contracts wins worth over £300m in total, including highway maintenance deals in Britain and Canada, as well as a contract to build and improve schools in England.