Contractor also reports 9% fall in overall revenues for full year to 30 June

Kier suffered a 61% fall in pre-tax profit in the year to 30 June 2009, the group has revealed in its preliminary results, but its construction order book is up 5% this year.

Pre-tax profit for the UK-based construction firm fell to £24.8m after exceptional items, compared with £63.4m for the same period a year earlier.

Revenue for the year was £2.15bn, including income from shares in joint ventures, a fall of 9% on the previous year's figure of £2.37bn. Meanwhile, the group said it had £92.5m of net cash at 30 June, down from £143.9m in 2008.

However, its “secured and probable” orders for construction added up to £2.2bn, an increase from the £2.1bn of orders held at the same point in 2008.

Cranes at work on Kier building sites
Construction orders are up 5% on last year

Investment in Kent's Building Schools for the Future programme has provided the group with £300m of additional construction work, PFI investment opportunities and a facilities management contract, the group said.

The chairman of Kier, Phil White, said: “Against the backdrop of a very challenging economic climate, particularly in the UK property development and housing markets, I am pleased to report good results for Kier Group plc for the year to 30 June 2009.”

He added: “Underlying profits before tax, the amortisation of intangible assets and exceptional items were ahead of expectations at £52.8m (2008: £89.2m); and underlying earnings per share on the same basis were 102.5p (2008: 174.8p).”

The full-year dividend was maintained at 55.0p.