Contractor says trading is in line with expectations

Contractor Costain has reported an order book of £2.3bn, down by 12% on the level at this time last year.

However the builder, which issued an interim management statement today ahead of its annual general meeting, said trading was meeting expectations and £850m of new business had been secured so far this year for 2011.

It said the level of tendering activity in infrastructure, environment and energy – its target markets -  “has remained high.”

At its AGM in 2010 its order book had reached a record £2.6bn, which had slipped to £2.4bn by December 2010, compared with the £2.3bn reported today. It is preferred bidder currently on £400m of work, also £200m down from its position this time last year.

It said it remained committed to broadening its service offering, and highlighted its £3.2m acquisition of ClerkMaxwell as an example of this.

The statement said the firm, which had to admit defeat in its pursuit of engineering consultant Mouchel last month, was “confident of further progress in 2011.”