Contractor predicts results at 'top end of current expectations', and says losses in Metronet will make minimal impact

Balfour Beatty has put out a strong trading update for the second half of 2007, anticipating results will be at the “top end of current expectations.”

In addition, losses from the collapse of tube maintenance firm Metronet are unlikely to make a significant impact on its results, according to the update.

Balfour Beatty’s building division has progressed “very strongly”, with performance in the UK market remaining good. Its acquisition of regional contractor Cowlin Construction in August has improved its coverage in the South and South-west regions.

The company’s excursion into the US market has so far been successful, with acquired regional contractor Centex Construction performing “above expectations.”

On Metronet, the company says that charges stemming from its entry into administration will be offset by revenue raised by the sale of its interest in Devonport Royal Dockyard, and from US tax benefits.

It says: “In aggregate, these are likely to result in a small exceptional charge for the year.”

Although Balfour Beatty admits profits in its investments division will be affected by the collapse of Metronet, it says it continues to win contracts in PPP schools and hospitals and expects to report on a “year of good progress” when it posts its full-year results on 5 March.