Market update reveals first quarter trading in line with expectations and steady flow of education work

Kier said first quarter trading had been in line with expectations and its order book was “strong” in a market update this morning.

In a statement to the stock market covering the period from 1 July, the contractor said it had made a “good start” to the new financial year, off the back of a steady stream of education work.

It said it had secured 96% of its expected construction revenue for the year to 30 June 2010 and 55% of targeted construction revenue for the following year.

In housing, the firm said its Partnership Homes division had re-started construction on a number of developments where there was evidence of stronger demand. But it said it remained “cautious” about 2010, in spite of the stabilisation of the private housebuilding market, due to a continued lack of mortgage lending.

The firm said it was still considering an appeal against its £18m fine from the Office of Fair Trading following the investigation into cover pricing in the construction industry.

The statement also confirmed the impending departure of chief executive John Dodds and said the process of selecting his successor was “well advanced”. Details of the appointment will be announced as soon as a decision is made, it said.