Carillion sees profits surge

CARILLION has recorded a 16 per cent increase in profit thanks to a strong performance from its Middle East business.

The British building and support services group yesterday revealed an underlying pre-tax profit of £182.2m in 2009, beating analysts expectations of £176.9m and up from £157.5m it posted in 2008.

The company has defied the poor construction conditions and ended the year with an order book of £17.7bn.

John McDonough, chief executive, said: “What that means is that 90 percent of our revenue that we need for 2010 is in the bag.”

The contract wins in the Middle East and UK boosted revenue by four per cent to £5.4bn. They included a £1bn contract from BT Openreach and over £1.5bn of work from the Building Schools for the Future programme.

But Carillion is reducing its UK construction activity ahead of expected public spending cuts.

“We’re not going to sit and wait for the cuts to come and react to them, we’re going to manage ahead of the cuts and scale the business to support our Private Finance Initiative bids and our support services work,” McDonough added.

The Group has scaled down its expectations for 2010, targeting “single-digit” profit growth after five years of double-digit growth.