Costain cheers record order book after ‘year of progress’

Infrastructure services firm Costain notched up a record order book for 2018 as it hailed “another year of progress”.

Shares in the group – one of the contractors working on the the delayed Crossrail project – lifted 5% as it said it finished the year with an order book at £4.2 billion, up from £3.9 billion at the end of 2017, and remains on track to meet full-year forecasts.

It said this was helped by the trend for clients to consolidate supply chains to deliver increasingly large, multibillion-pound investment programmes.

The group – whose two largest customers are Network Rail and Highways England – said it had made further progress on its strategy to reposition itself to meet the “increasingly complex and fast-changing nature of its clients’ requirements”.

Costain, which employs 4,000 people, finished 2018 with preferred bidder status on around £600 million worth of contracts, up from £400 million a year ago.

Chief executive Andrew Wyllie said: “This has been another year of progress for Costain.

“The benefits of our integrated offering, long-term strategic relationships with our clients and strong balance sheet position us well for the future and the significant opportunity we see across our rapidly changing end markets.”