Improved profitability at the UK construction division lifted Balfour Beatty’s first-half performance this year.
Across the group revenue rose 9% to $4.5bn delivering an £82m pre-tax profit level with the previous year.
UK Construction put in a star performance in the first six months of the year lifting profits by two-thirds to £30m from revenue up 22% to £1.5bn.
Amid stronger trading profitability improved despite inflationary pressures in the UK market with margins improving to 2% compared with 1.5% in the previous first half.
Balfour Beatty’s Group order book slipped back by 6% to £16.4bn, although chief executive Leo Quinn said a focus on select bidding had made it lower risk.
Balfour Beatty’s average net cash reduced in the first half to £695m (FY 2022: £804m), largely due to the working capital outflow forecast at the 2022 year end and £87m of share buybacks
Quinn said: “We continue to deliver from the scale and breadth of our lower-risk order book, which, during this period of high inflation and interest rates, underpins the financial results reported today and our expectations for the full year.
“Looking beyond 2023, we have positioned Balfour Beatty strongly with unique capabilities and a sector-leading balance sheet, to capitalise on national plans to transform critical infrastructure, particularly in the energy and transport markets.
“This provides the Board with confidence in both profitable managed growth and in our capacity to deliver significant future shareholder returns.”