Contractor converts £61.7m loss into £19.8m pre-tax profit and delivers first dividend in 17 years

Costain has returned to the black with a pre-tax profit of £19.8m in the year ended 31 December 2007.

It was up from a loss of £61.7m in 2006 following write-downs against contract claims in its building division.

The news prompted it to deliver its first dividend in 17 years of 0.5p.

Turnover was flat, edging down from £886.3m to £877.9m. The order book also fell slightly from £1.8bn in 2006 to £1.6bn as part the group’s push towards what it called “long-term quality ahead of short-term quantity.”

Chairman David Allvey said: “The year’s achievements have been reflected in the strong recovery in performance. In as far as 2007 was a landmark year, we expect 2008 will be a year of further growth.”

He said the group’s rights issue last September, which raised £60m, and enhanced banking and bonding facilities of £200m had given it added financial strength to win work.

Breakdown of results

Civil Engineering

Turnover - £539.3m (2006: £488.1m)

Operating profit - £20m (£10.3m)


Turnover - £254.7m (£298m)

Operating profit - £800,000 (£25.9m loss)

Property Development

Turnover - £3.6m (£13.2m)

Oil and Gas

Turnover - £62.3m (£57.2m)

Operating profit - £1.9m (£19.5m loss)