Shares in construction giant Balfour Beatty jumped today, despite confirmation it has scrapped a £200m share buyback.
The confirmation comes after Sky News first reported the plan yesterday.
Balfour Beatty posted a net profit, although it slipped from £135m in 2018 to £133m in 2019, a drop of 1.4 per cent.
This was on the back of the controversial HS2 rail link from London, to Birmingham, then Crewe, being approved.
Shares in the firm closed 19.84 per cent up at 264.60p.
“We are committed to delivering value from this performance, said boss Leo Quinn.
“The group is continuing to pay down around £150m of borrowings in 2020 and in addition, the board will review balfour Beatty’s capital structure once there is clearer understanding of the COVID-19 situation,” he added.
Underlying pre-tax profit for 2019 was £200m, a boost of ten per cent on 2018’s £181m.
Underlying revenue increased from £7.8bn to £8.4bn over the same period.
Dividend per share increased from 4.8p to 6.4p per share, a 33 per cent increase.
The company’s work on HS2 is one of a number of projects which has increased its order book by 13 per cent from £12.6bn in 2018 to £14.3bn in 2019.
Net cash also increased 52 per cent to £512m from £337m.
The wider picture
Firms across the world are facing disruption from coronavirus.
Yesterday, aviation services firm John Menzies announced it would suspend its dividend due to uncertainty.
The aviation sector has been particularly badly affected with BA, Ryanair and Qantas all cancelling flights.
Last week, regional carrier Flybe collapsed following years of financial difficulty.
Stocks and oil prices recovered slightly yesterday following heavy falls the day before labelled ‘Black Monday’.
The FTSE 100 is up 1.36 per cent today but Brent crude is down .48 per cent to $37 a barrel.