Contractor Balfour Beatty has reassured the City and shareholders at its annual meeting by indicating that it was performing in line with expectations in 2006.

Reporting an £8bn order book, chairman David John said that all aspects of the business had made progress, including the company's building, engineering, rail and investments and developments divisions.

John said: "As stated in our annual report, we expect to make progress in 2006 in line with expectations and to continue to generate secure, sustainable income from our partnerships with customers in the public and private sectors."

He added: "Our order book now tops £8bn and will shortly be augmented by the confirmed contracts arising from the financial close of the Birmingham hospital PPP concession."

Balfour Beatty expects financial close at Birmingham hospital in early June. The project passed a Treasury review in April, and follows the firm reaching financial close on a Birmingham schools project.