If Nicky is right, this year will mark another defeat for Tory mayoral hopeful Steven Norris. The Jarvis chairman, as you will know if you are a regular reader of this column, could use a bit of a boost, as he has been presiding over a falling share price since he took over in November.
This week Norris has, he will hope, reached his nadir at Jarvis – the company issued a profit warning on Wednesday. But the chaps and chapettes in the City were already prepared for the worst – its shares fell a mammoth 44.75p on Tuesday, to close at 139.25p. As I write this, the price continues to tumble. A former Tory transport minister running into trouble at a leading rail and road infrastructure firm? Surely not … Another faller in support services was Laing. Despite a (surprise, surprise) upbeat trading statement last week, its share price slipped 1.4% to finish on Friday at 189p. Given that its year-low was 113p, it is probably not yet time for panic stations.
A Costain–Laing joint venture won a £38m road contract in Caerphilly this week. Expect profits
Hunch of the week
Indeed, it was a tough time for many in support services. News that a proposed £28.5m management buyout of agent Lambert Smith Hampton from Atkins had collapsed was perhaps one of the reasons for a 3.1% slip in the megaconsultant's price. The hiccup meant that Atkins was at 505p by close of play Friday.
It was not all bad news, though – multidisciplinary consultant White Young Green gained 7.3% to reach 183.5p after its acquisition last week of structural engineer and project manager Cetec of Southampton.