Firm says profit ahead of expectations as turnover set to top £8bn

A bullish Balfour Beatty has said profit this year will be ahead of expectations with the firm adding revenue will top £8bn in 2019.

The country’s biggest contractor, which brought forward a trading update 24 hours to avoid it clashing with tomorrow’s results of the UK general election, said profit for 2019 would be “broadly in line” with the previous year’s £205m on income up 5% on last year’s £7.8bn.

leo quinn

It said it had completed a refinancing in October, tying up a £375m agreement that runs until October 2022. The previous deal ran out at the end of next year. It added net cash for the year was forecast to be around £310m, ahead of the previous £280m to £300m guidance.

Its UK construction arm will turn in margins of between 2% and 3% while those from its US construction business will be between 1% and 2%. The firm added it was still investigating allegations that it had falsified records on its military housing work in the US.

The company is also still trying to strike a settlement with Transport Scotland over the costs it racked up on the scheme to build a new road in Aberdeen which completed in February this year, more than a year later.

Earlier this year, chief executive Leo Quinn (pictured) said his firm was chasing Transport Scotland for “hundreds of millions” of pounds in compensation after revealing the job, which was hit by bad weather and hundreds of utility diversions, cost more than £1bn to build – double the original estimate.

Balfour Beatty’s order book at the year end is expected to top £14bn, up from last year’s £12.6bn.

The firm will unveil its 2019 results on 11 March next year.