Contractor reports half-year profit up 13% and says it has now “largely completed” the downsizing of its UK construction business

Battersea Power Station phase 1

Battersea Power Station phase 1

Contractor Carillion reported half-year profit up 13% this morning as it said it had “largely completed” the downsizing of its UK construction business.

The firm, which in 2010 announced plans to cut its UK construction business by a third, saw revenue fall 9% to £1.96bn - a drop which it said was “primarily” due to the continued planned re-scaling of the business.

However, it said the value of “new orders and probable orders” received in the first half to June 30 were up 32% on the same period last year to £2.9bn, and that it had “largely completed” thedownsizing of the UK construction business.

The firm reported pre-tax profit of £64.2m, up 13% on last year, though it said the operating margin in its construction business fell.

Carillion also reported a leap in net debt, which more than doubled from £115m to £271m.

Again it said this was due to the closing out of contracts related to the downscaling of the construction business.

Revenue in the UK construction business fell 20% to £504m, with operating profit down 27% to £19m.

The firm, which has picked up major contracts this year such as the £400m Battersea Power Station first phase, said it expected revenue in the second half of the year to be larger than the first, but stopped short of saying it was now intent on growing the business again.

Carillion’s support services business also saw falling revenue, down 6% to £1.11bn.