Balfour profits slump on ‘challenging’ UK market

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Construction and infrastructure group Balfour Beatty today reported a “disappointing” 32 per cent slide in annual profits amid difficult conditions in the UK and a downturn in the Australian mining industry.

The firm said it seeing increased evidence of improving conditions in some parts of its core UK and US markets, but these would take some time to feed through to its bottom line.

Underlying pre-tax profits fell to £187 million for 2013, down from £277m the previous year but ahead of City forecasts of £168m. Group revenues edged up 1 per cent to £8.7 billion.

Chief executive Andrew McNaughton said: “In 2013 we faced challenging economic conditions in several markets and experienced operational issues in the UK construction business.

“In the longer term, we remain focused on capitalising on growth in global infrastructure markets by leveraging three key strengths – local presence, asset knowledge and our skills as an investor and developer.”

In January, Balfour won a £154m deal to transform London’s Olympic stadium into the venue that will become the permanent home of English Premier League club West Ham United.

A final dividend of 8.5p, unchanged from last year, was proposed to be paid on 4 July, leaving the full-year payout steady at 14.1p.