Turnover also up 32% in full-year results, while firm is named likely winner of £1.6bn PPP Bristol health scheme

Contractor Carillion has reported a 55% rise in full-year profit, thanks to strong growth in the public sector and Middle East.

The firm posted pre-tax profit of £157.5m, up from £101.8m in 2007. Turnover jumped 32% to £5.2bn from £4bn last year. Its order book was £20.4bn, up 28% on last year's figure of £16bn.

Support services performed particularly well, with turnover growth of 37% to £2.5bn and a 54% rise in pre-tax profit to £113.5m, largely due to the integration of Alfred McAlpine, which the firm bought in 2007.

Carillion's Middle East business performed well, with turnover of £464.2m, but the firm said it expected a reduction in its Dubai operations this year as conditions in the emirate worsened.

However, the firm's share of revenue from the Middle East is predicted to increase to around £600m by the end of 2009, driven by expansion in Abu Dhabi.

The board said the firm was “well placed” to face the “challenging” market conditions.

It said: “Given the overall outlook across each of our reporting segments, the board believes that Carillion is well placed to make good progress in 2009, despite increasingly challenging market conditions. The board therefore continues to expect Carillion to deliver materially enhanced earnings in 2009.”

John McDonough
McDonough: "delighted that North Bristol NHS Trust intends to select Carillion as the preferred bidder"

In a separate announcement, Carillion has been named as the likely preferred bidder on a £1.6bn PPP health scheme in Bristol.

North Bristol NHS Trust said it was planning to appoint the contractor to build a new hospital at Southmead, on the northern edge of the city, as part of a wider health plan for the region.

The firm will provide design, construction, maintenance and facilities management services on the 800-bed scheme, which will combine services from two existing hospitals in one site. The existing Southmead hospital will be largely demolished.

Carillion said it expected to invest up to £40m of equity in the project, which will be a 50:50 joint venture with Bank of Scotland Corporate. It will also maintain the scheme over the 30-year concession period.

The trust said the value of construction work was around £450m. The project is expected to have a value of £1.6bn over the concession period.

Work is due to start this summer, with the hospital scheduled to open in 2013.

Carillion chief executive John McDonough said: “We are delighted that North Bristol NHS Trust intends to select Carillion as the preferred bidder for this prestigious contract.

“We look forward to working with the trust to deliver a state-of-the-art hospital, which will transform acute healthcare for people in the Bristol, North Somerset and Gloucestershire areas.”