Contractor predicts strong progress in 2010 as it posts 16% upturn in profit

Carillion has reported a 16% increase in 2009 profit to £182m, a figure which has been boosted by a strong performance in the Middle East.

In the group’s final results for the year ending 31 December 2009 it also revealed a £5.4bn turnover, up 4% on the figure in 2008, and an operating margin of 4% compared to 3.7% in 2008.

The firm said on Wednesday it had an order book of £17.7bn and forecast further progress in 2010.

Carillion, which generates much of its revenue from government work and public private partnership (PPP) projects, made an underlying pretax profit of £182.2m in 2009.

The results were buoyed by a strong performance in the Middle East which makes up 21% of the group’s total underlying operating profit following successful expansion into Abu Dhabi and a strong performance in Oman.

Carillion doubled its share of revenue from the Middle East businesses from £269m in 2006 to around £600m in 2009. In 2009, turnover increased by 19% to £554m.

A statement in the results read: “Cash flow has also remained strong with receipts from customers in 2009 of some £555m, which supported an increase in the dividend received from our Middle East businesses.”

Carillion ended the year with net cash of £24.9m, compared with net borrowing at the end of 2008 of £226.7m.

It is paying a dividend of 14.6 pence, up 12%.

Shares in Carillion, which have increased by a third over the last year, closed at 286.8 pence on Tuesday, valuing the company at £1.14bn.