Construction and engineering group releases confident trading update following £320m buying spree

Balfour Beatty has released a confident trading update, saying business remains strong after a six-month acquisition spree worth £320m.

Balfour Beatty

The group said progress in the construction sector had been “particularly strong”, and it had seen “very good progress” in its engineering sector.

In spite of big contract wins such as the M25 widening and maintenance project, Balfour Beatty’s order book increased by only £400m, to £11.8bn – however, this does not take into account the order books of its 2008 acquisitions.

Since January, Balfour Beatty has made five major acquisitions, including the purchase of Dean & Dyball in March for £45m and Blackpool Airport in May for £14m.

The company also made two acquisitions in the US, GMH Military Housing for $350m (£175m) and Barnhart for $116m (£58m), and one in Germany, rail engineering group Schreck-Mieves for €36m (£28m). In total, the acquisition spend is £320m.

The company said: “We anticipate that order intake and trading performance will remain strong throughout the year and that we will make good progress in 2008.”

Balfour Beatty will announce its interim results on 13 August.