Contractor says full-year results will match market expectations, buoyed by education and health projects

Contractor Kier said today that full-year results would meet market expectations, thanks to continued public sector wins.

In a trading update for the year to 30 June 2009, published in advance of full results, the firm said that education and health work had helped the construction division trade well and maintain strong operating margins.

Kier added that it was restarting construction on a number of housing sites, as its Partnership Homes division had seen prices begin to stabilise in certain parts of the country.

The restructured social housing and private development business has traded in line with expectations for the year, though at lower levels than in 2008, Kier said. A total of 1,140 units were sold over the 12 months, a 45% drop from 2,090 units the previous year.

Health and education schemes have helped had construction division maintain strong operating margins

Kier's developments business had also seen “little sales activity” over the year, it said.

The statement said: “Whilst the current markets for our Partnership Homes and developments businesses remain challenging we have a number of good quality long-term opportunities which will provide considerable value for the future.

“Our construction and support services businesses are well placed to secure work and have healthy order books allowing them to continue their profitable, cash generative performance. Our balance sheet is strong and our cash balances remain high.”

Kier said its order book showed the firm had secured more than 85% of targeted revenue for 2010 and almost half for 2011.