Construction group says sale will contribute to £50m half-year profit

Construction group Balfour Beatty has agreed to sell its 24.5% interest in Devonport Management to Babcock International for £86m.

Ian Tyler chief executive Balfour

The company said that the sale of the design, build and support solutions firm would contribute to £50m of exceptional profit in its half-year results.

KBR and the Weir Group, shareholders in DML, have also announced they will be selling their interests to Babcock in the next 60 days. DML was established to run Devonport Royal Dockyard, which it acquired in 1997.

Commenting on the transaction, Balfour chief executive Ian Tyler said: “Long-term involvement in DML is not core to our strategy.”

At its AGM today Balfour will announce that 2007 trading has been in line with expectations.

It will state that activity levels in the UK construction business have been particularly strong and that the acquisition of Contex Construction would push the company's position in the US "substantially".

The group said that results would be affected by increased bid costs in capital projects and the performance of its 20% stake in Metronet.