Strength of Asia Pacific regions offset weaker performance in US, Europe and Middle East Profit

Lend Lease group has said it expected the construction market to remain difficult but that it was well placed for growth in the medium term following the announcement of a rise in profit.

The firm, which is behind the £1.5bn regeneration of Elephant & Castle, has reported a 5.2% rise in profits after tax to £185m for the year ended 30 June.

However, revenue was down from £8.5bn to just over £6bn.

The group’s project management, design and construction business in Asia Pacific performed strongly delivering a record profit for the year.

However, this was offset by weaker results from its construction businesses in the US, Europe and the Middle East which continued to be effected by a significant slowdown in construction markets and costs associated with the investigations being conducted by the US Attorney’s office and District Attorney in New York relating to allegations regarding, among other things, billing practices.

Its retail and communities businesses, particularly in Asia Pacific, performed strongly and trading conditions in residential markets in both Australia and the UK improved.

Looking forward Steve McCann, group CEO and managing director, said: “Construction markets offshore remain difficult and construction volumes in Australia are likely to decline as government stimulus spending softens. However, it is very clear that the group is well placed for growth and we expect our strong project pipeline to deliver over the medium term”.

He added the company was well positioned to capitalise on growth areas such as urban regeneration, retirement housing, sustainability, public private partnerships and superannuation and sovereign wealth funds.

“We expect these to be the main trends that underpin our business internationally and our strategic plan has a strong focus on scaling up our businesses to leading positions in our core markets”.