The UK’s biggest contractor did not do itself any favours by accompanying the medicine with a spoonful of vinegar, dourly warning of a softening in key markets and grumbling about the PFI. Flat profit and turnover did not help the City’s mood and Amec’s share price promptly fell 15%.
“Nobody doubts it is fundamentally a good business but they keep cocking up their announcements,” moaned one stock watcher. “Their investor relations tend to be a shambles.”
The market’s froideur towards Amec was extended to other companies, with most contractors ending the week a lot lower than they started. Hardest hit were Balfour Beatty, Taylor Woodrow, Mowlem and Rok.
The only contractors on the up were Jarvis and Costain – albeit by a mere 3%. And, as you’ll no doubt remember, they’ve had their own share of stock market horrors …