Balfour Beatty on track to beat expectations after further disposal

Infrastructure group Balfour Beatty will beat its annual expectations due to an additional sale of one of its assets, the company has said.

The group has upped its forecasts after agreeing the sale of an infrastructure investment, pushing expected profits from infrastructure disposals to £65 million.

Balfour, which is undergoing a turnaround plan, also affirmed that revenue in the second half would be in line with the first half and signalled a higher level of new work.

The order book is forecast to be around £12 billion at the year end, pipping last year’s £11.4 billion.

The group also said it is on track to meet its goal of bringing margins in line with industry standard in all earnings-based businesses.

In UK construction, this is expected to be achieved in the second half in a range of between 2% and 3%, while US construction will improve within the 1% to 2% range.

Support services will also improve within a 3% to 5% range.

Balfour Beatty group chief executive Leo Quinn (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Chief executive Leo Quinn said: “The actions we have taken since the start of 2015 have created a strong foundation for the future.

“We have consistently invested in our capabilities, systems and leadership while de-risking the business, strengthening the balance sheet and selectively building the order book.

“Going forward, we aim to drive market-leading performance by using the disciplines we have instilled to translate Balfour Beatty’s expert capabilities into long-term profitable growth.”

Earlier this month, the company announced that it had paid down its remaining convertible bonds, delivering a 45% reduction in debt over the last 12 months.