Balfour Beatty said a strong performance at its infrastructure arm contributed to robust overall trading in the last four months.

In a quarterly update, the £7.5bn-turnover group said: “Trading and cash generation has continued to be strong, based on our pre-eminent position in infrastructure markets which provide long-term secure incomes.”

In the PFI market, financial close of Balfour’s M25 and Fife hospital schemes has slipped into 2009 because of the global financial crisis.

Analysts said the delay was due to financial and banking processes taking longer as a result of the credit crunch.

Howard Seymour, an analyst at Numis Securities, said: “The delay in these projects is in no way a reflection of inability to fund the deals as Balfour reports a high level of interest.”

The company also said there were “some signs of slowing expenditure” in the development market, but added that this represented a minority of its activity in the building sector.

Average net cash during the period was £200m and the company reported that its recent acquisitions were progressing well.

Kevin Cammack, an analyst at Singer Capital Markets, said the statement was “very reassuring in these troubled markets”.

Balfour’s shares were up 9% to 293p by the close of play on Tuesday.