Contracting group reports record order book of £2.5bn and net cash of £100m

Costain has reported a fall in first-half pre-tax profit by one-third to £6.9m but a healthy order book that has grown 25%.

In interim results posted today, the group said its order book stood at £2.5bn at the year end, with £690m of its 2010 revenue already secured.

Costain highlighted key wins over the past six months which have boosted the order book, including a Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority contract worth £397m, a £400m contract with Severn Trent and five-year, £200m joint venture maintenance managing agent contract for the Highways Agency.

Recent key contract wins include work at the Sellafield nuclear site

The firm has also recently announced key contract wins on the Sellafield nuclear power plant and Crossrail.

Chairman David Allvey said: “We entered the second half of the year with a record order book, robust finances and a net cash balance in excess of £100m and look forward to reporting continued progress at the year-end.”

Costain's shares, which have gained 73% since the start of the year after slumping in 2008, closed at 34.25p on Tuesday, giving the group an overall market value of around £220m.