After recommended £32m bid for Birse the construction group issues statement anticipating strong second half despite 'challenges' at Metronet.

The UK's biggest contractor Balfour Beatty said it was determined to maintain its established growth momentum, in a trading statement today.

The statement comes following Balfour's £32m recommended bid for Northampton-based contractor Birse Group this week, as well as recent acquisitions of US construction management company Charter and UK rail products manufacturer Edgar Allen.

The construction giant said there had been "good progress across the board" and that the order books were "well ahead and major new contracts [had been] secured in healthcare, education, commercial buildings and social housing".

It conceded that there was still "some challenging operating issues" associated with its 20% stake in the Metronet PPP concessions, related to delays in the station upgrade programme.

It said it anticipated the business would continue to perform well in the second half of the year. Balfour Beatty's interim result are out on August 16th.