Balfour Beatty has issued a bullish trading statement for 2007 that is at the “top end of current expectations”.

The upbeat forecast came despite the collapse into administration of tube maintenance consortium Metronet in July, in which Balfour Beatty had a 20% stake.

The 2007 consensus forecast for the construction giant is a £176.75m pre-tax profit on turnover of £6.1bn, up from a £125m profit in 2006 on turnover of £4.5bn.

Its order book at the year-end was about £11bn, 20% ahead of 2006. It also confirmed that almost £2bn more work was at the preferred bidder stage than at the same time for 2006.

The City reacted well to the news. Andy Brown, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said the company was seen as “a safe haven” in an uncertain market place.

Alastair Stewart, at Dresdner Kleinwort, said the group was “firing on all cylinders”. He said its strong performance had been across all divisions, particularly the US, where its Centex business, bought for $362m (£185m) in April 2006, had performed better than had been expected.

On Metronet the company said charges stemming from administration will be offset by revenue raised by the sale of its interest in Devonport Royal Dockyard in Plymouth and from US tax benefits.

It also said the building division had progressed “very strongly” and that the £52m acquisition of regional contractor Cowlin Construction last August had improved coverage in the South and South-west regions.