Contractor says work in large number of markets enabled it to up profit despite challenging environment

Revenue grew by 9% and underlying pre-tax profits jumped by over a quarter at Kier in the six months to 31 December.

The contractor has also increased its interim dividend from 18.5p to 20p compared to the same six months in 2009.

Its order book for construction and support services was steady at over £4bn, the company said, and it has secured 65% of its targeted revenue order book for 2012.

Real-time Share Price
Real-time Share Price

Kier’s revenue now stands at £1,097m, compared to £1,010m in 2009.

It made an underlying pre-tax profit of £31.3m compared to £24.8m in 2009 - although this excludes a profit in that year of £7.1m from Partnerships Homes land.

Kier also announced that Dick Simkin, the firm’s executive director for developments, would retire at the end of the financial year.

Paul Sheffield, chief executive, said: “Kier continues to perform well and in line with expectations despite the current challenging economic environment. The group has delivered good underlying profits and cash generation, and it has also maintained robust order books since the June year end.

“Our success is underpinned by our strong track record, geographic coverage, deep‑rooted customer relationships and an increasing number of framework agreements and collaborative partnerships.

“We continue to attract a wide variety of opportunities in our divisions and are encouraged by the prospects we see in markets such as power, infrastructure, commercial, mixed‑use regeneration and overseas,” he said.