Shares tumble 20% as ground engineering firm is hit by project delays and austerity measures

Shares at ground engineering firm Keller have plunged 20% following a profit warning.

The company blamed project delays and deteriorating market conditions in Europe and elsewhere for the profit downgrade.

Keller said full year pre-tax profit would be between £21m and £23m, around £10m below market forecasts.

Real-time Share Price
Real-time Share Price
Keller said that trading on the continent was difficult. It said there were in sufficient privately-financed projects to “take up the slack left by government austerity programmes”.

In a statement to the stock exchange the firm also announced it had shut a regional office in the UK, its third such closure in two years.

It said the highly uncertain macro-economic outlook threatened any significant recovery.

It said: ‘While our growth markets continue to offer good prospects in the medium term, the overall picture remains challenging.”

Keller said that it had been hit by delays in the start of a few large projects, particularly in India.

The company posted a 70% fall in pre-tax profit for the first half, which in blamed on floods in Australia and political unrest in north Africa and the Middle East.