Phil White, a former National Express chief executive, has been appointed non-executive chairman of Kier, replacing Peter Warry who will step down at the end of this year.

White has been a non-executive board member of Kier since 2006.

The announcement was made during Kier’s annual general meeting, at which John Dodds, its chief executive said the group had made a good start to the financial year.

Dodds said: “Our integrated business model is providing insulation against weaker demand in the housing market as we continue to benefit from strong markets, particularly in our largest division, construction, and in support services.”