UK biggest contractor announces healthy results for 2009

Balfour Beatty broke the £10bn turnover barrier in 2009, with the figure jumping 8% from £9.5bn to £10.3bn.

Meanwhile pre-tax profit before exceptional items rose 7% from £249m to £270m.

The group revealed in January that it had divided its business into four segments. Of these, the company noted its professional services sector, performed the worst, with operating profit falling by £1m to £13m in the year to 31 December 2009. Turnover at the division rose  from £298m to £567m.

Operating profit in construction services rose by 24%, from £167m to £207m on the back of a rise in turnover from £7.4bn to £7.8bn.

Turnover in support services fell slightly from £1.6bn to £1.5bn while operating profit rose from £52m to £55m.

Meanwhile operating profit in its infrastructure investments arm saw a 35% rise from £31m to £42m in 2008 as turnover rose from £553m to £830m.

Chief executive Ian Tyler said: “Our business has continued to perform well and finished the year with a strong order book of £14.1 billion.

The acquisition of Parsons Brinckerhoff, one of the world's leading professional services companies for infrastructure markets, realised a number of the group's long-term strategic objectives. The breadth of our portfolio means our business is resilient. In spite of economic uncertainty, we remain confident about the prospects for the group."

Meanwhile, Balfour has won an £82m PPP investment contract for student accommodation at Florida Atlantic University in America.

The win is the group's first non-military housing PPP investment contract in the US.

Balfour is to design, build and operate the accommodation, which includes more than 1,200 beds on the university's main campus in Florida.

The group will invest equity of about US $3.4m (£2.3m) in the 30-year concession.

The apartments are expected to be available for occupancy from August 2011.

Balfour has also announced the sale of its 23.9% interest in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary PPP concession and of its entire 50% interest in the Aberdeen Waste Water PPP concession to funds managed by AMP Capital Investors, the Australian wealth management company, for a total of £24.3m.

Balfour will retain a 50% shareholding in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary PPP.