Michael Donnelly, an analyst at Bridgewell Securities, said: "This is a period of change and everyone knew that. The results this year are irrelevant – we think the shares are worth more than 200p. Twelve months from now I would be disappointed if the market had not really understood the [restructured] company."
Bridgewell estimates that Laing's pre-tax profit will be £16m in 2003, rising to £20m in 2004.
Turnover in the 12 months to 31 December last year was £444.2m, from operations that were not sold off in the period. The company also posted a pre-tax profit in its continuing divisions of £12.3m, adding weight to claims that the underlying business is strong.
Laing’s results this year are irrelevant – we think the shares are worth more than 200p
Michael Donnelly, Bridgwell Securities analyst
Executive chairman Bill Forrester said: "The prospects for the infrastructure investment and operations business are excellent."
Laing also announced a £142.8m pension deficit.