First financial statement since going private shows good performance despite slowdown in main sector

John Laing has announced that it achieved a strong performance in 2007 despite signs that the PFI market, the company’s largest sector, is slowing.

Adrian Ewer

The firm announced it has invested £153m in projects in 2007 in its first financial statement since being taken private. The PFI-specialist, which left the stock exchange in 2006 after being bought by Henderson, said that this compared with £23m in 2006, an increase of more than fivefold.

The company said that while it continued to see good opportunities in PFI, “the speed and extent of growth is slowing as it reaches maturity”.

The company said that amid this climate it was also pursuing projects in areas outside its traditional strongholds of education and health including private development schemes for courts, and local authority regeneration projects. In a sign that it may seek significant revenue outside the PFI market, it said it was developing “alternative procurement models” to capitalize on opportunities.

The company, which has a presence in Canada, USA, Europe India and South East Asia, said it also expected to achieve significant overseas growth over the next 12 months.

The company’s overseas portfolio accounted for £111m of investment in 2007, representing 18% of total, up from 11% in 2006.

Adrian Ewer, chief executive of John Laing, said: “In the UK our traditional private finance initiative market remains significant but it is maturing. There remains scope for growth in the waste and renewables sectors and we are developing alternative procurement models to take advantage of new opportunities”.

In the UK overall, 625 PFI projects with a £58.7 billion capital value have been signed. 510 projects are now operational, with £5.3 billion capital value of signed deals in 2007 and a further £23.3 billion to be signed over next 5 years.