Contract wins help swell order book for construction firm Balfour Beatty

City A.M. Reporter
CONSTRUCTION firm Balfour Beatty yesterday said its order book has been boosted by a number of key contract wins, and the integration of a US acquisition is progressing well.

Britain’s largest infrastructure contractor said that its order book was ahead of the £14.1bn reported at the end of 2009 and its trading performance so far this year is in line with its views.

Balfour, which has a market value of £1.7bn, said US project management firm Parsons Brinckerhoff, acquired last year, will make its first full-year contribution to its professional services business in 2010.

Concerns over public sector spending cuts and uncertainty surrounding the British general election have weighed on the sector, pushing shares in Balfour to a 2010 low of 248p last Friday. Shares closed at 276.4p yesterday.

But Balfour stands in a stronger position than many of its domestic peers, after positioning its business to benefit from US stimulus with its acquisition of Parsons Brinckerhoff and its global exposure.

Balfour projects include helping build the world’s biggest shopping centre, the Burj Mall in Dubai and the rail extension at London’s Heathrow Terminal 5.

Balfour Beatty in March reported a 2009 underlying pre-tax profit of £267m, at the upper end of expectations.