Construction hits profits at Kier

Construction and real estate firm Kier Group reported a 21 per cent fall in first-half profit due to weakness at its construction business. Underlying pre-tax profit for the July to December period fell to £27m from £34m a year earlier. Overall revenue fell seven per cent to £976m, while revenue in the construction business fell 13 per cent to £627m. Shares fell 4.4 per cent yesterday to close at 1,287p.