Share indices in the week to 15 February 2002
Kier and Balfour Beatty bosses must be pinching themselves to check that the rise in their companies’ share prices to year-highs is not just a sweet dream.

Kier, with the much-respected Colin Busby at the helm, has enjoyed a steady rise all year and recently broke the 600p barrier for the first time in the its history. Last week, the share price edged up another 3.5% to reach 618p. The run continued this week with a 7.5p jump to 626p.

The City likes Kier’s low-risk approach to contracting, even though the margins also tend to be low. One analyst said: “Kier is very good at what it does; it doesn’t try to be anything it’s not and it tends not to make mistakes. It is a good investment.”

Balfour Beatty has had its fair share of doubters in recent years – and some are still not convinced – but more and more are warming to the firm. Balfour’s shares rocketed 12% to 229p, also a year high, last week.

Chief executive Mike Welton is enjoying support from the City as the firm delivers sustainable, consistent results that are improving – just what the Square Mile loves.

Alfred McAlpine also enjoyed a good week. The contractor, which is increasingly focusing on PFI deals, saw its share price rise 7% to 452p.