Income from home market tops £3bn

A strong performance in the UK helped Balfour Beatty increase its global revenue last year.

The firm reported a 7% increase in revenues worldwide to £9.6bn.

Pre-tax profit was down from £287m to £244m, but the firm said it was expected “as gains on investment disposals reduced as planned and the £56m tax credit relating to the recognition of additional UK tax losses in 2022 did not repeat”.


Balfour Beatty chief Leo Quinn celebrates 10 years at the firm next January

The UK’s biggest contractor saw domestic revenue rise 10% to £3.03bn, 95% of which came from public sector and regulated industry clients. Underlying operating profit in the UK increased from £59m to £69m.

The business said it expected volumes to “grow steeply” in the power business specifically across 2025 and 2026.

“Both the UK Construction and US Construction order books have remained flat on a local currency basis, which is encouraging given the high interest rate environment faced by customers throughout 2023,” the firm said.

“In the UK, the proportion of the order book signed on lower risk target-cost or cost-plus contracts compared to higher risk fixed-price contracts remained high at 82%.”

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Balfour Beatty has a £16.5bn order book and held an average net cash of £700m in 2023, which is expected to be roughly the same this year.

Balfour Beatty chief executive Leo Quinn, who celebrates 10 years in charge next January, said the company’s results had been “driven by our disciplined contract risk management across a geographically and operationally diversified portfolio”.

He added: “Looking to 2025 and beyond, we expect our unique capabilities and complex infrastructure project experience to drive further earnings growth, with attractive opportunities being pursued in the UK energy, transport and defence markets and in the US.”

Earlier this month, Balfour was one of several firms to formally sign a memorandum of understanding with Holtec, a US nuclear firm that is looking to develop small nuclear plants and a factory in the UK.

Others to sign on the dotted line were Mott MacDonald and Korean manufacturer Hyundai.

Holtec is one of several companies shortlisted by government-owned Great British Nuclear in a competition to establish the most viable small modular reactor designs.