Disasters take toll as Keller sees profits fall

 
City A.M. Reporter
BRITISH construction group Keller yesterday warned operating profit would fall 10 per cent this year as fierce competition in the US, flooding in Australia and unrest in the Middle East and North Africa all take their toll.

The company’s April order book was nine per cent ahead of last year, Keller said in a statement yesterday.

It cautioned, however, that the lack of any meaningful recovery in those construction markets hit hardest by the global recession meant over capacity remained a significant problem, particularly in the US.

“Lower margins in the US, combined with the Australian floods and geopolitical issues in the Middle East and North Africa, mean that the board now expects that the group’s earnings before interest and tax for the year as a whole will be around 10 per cent below that in 2010, with the second half being broadly in line with last year,” Keller said.

Keller said its UK business had a difficult start to the year but predicted a better second half as transport infrastructure projects get underway.