David Fison, Skanska’s UK chief executive, ruled out a bid to build the Olympic 2012 stadium, as he revealed strong financial results for the first six months of the year.

Fison (pictured) said Skanska would not be one of the companies bidding for the stadium, which was put out to tender by the Olympic Delivery Authority last week, because the company did not have a background in stadium building.

He said: “I won’t build things that I don’t think we have the expertise to do. We will review other Olympic work as and when it emerges but I’m not going for trophy jobs.”

Operating profit at Skanska UK rose 95% in the first half of the year to £19.5m because several of its major PFI projects closed within the period.

The biggest of these was the £1bn Barts and the London New Hospitals programme. This scheme, which at £1bn is the largest PFI healthcare scheme to come to the market so far, has finally reached financial close. Skanska is undertaking it with partners Innisfree and Equion.

Fison said that after these one-off gains were accounted for, underlying growth was solid within all three of the company’s business areas – construction, PFI/PPP, and civil engineering and specialists.

He said the company had benefited from a “hot” market in London, particularly because there were few companies that could take on large-scale projects.

Sixty per cent of Skanska UK’s work is in the public sector. Fison said he was looking at the energy market but no firm decisions had yet been made.

He said: “That market is too big for us to disregard but to tackle it effectively you have to look closely at who your partners are.”

Skanska, which has been appointed main contractor on Heron Tower in London, reported a 27% increase in turnover to £424m, and an order book worth £2.2bn.

One of the company’s core sectors in the UK is education. With the present financial year it has reached financial close on the first of the government’s Building Schools for the Future projects in Bristol, as well as a PPP schools scheme for Midlothian council in Scotland.

Skanska at a glance

Six months to end of June 2006

Turnover £424m (+27%)
Operating income £19.5m (+95%)
Order backlog £2.2bn (+95%)
Order intake £1.4bn (227%)

Recent project successes

  • Financial close on the £1bn PFI Barts and the London New Hospitals scheme
  • Financial close on the first BSF scheme at Bristol
  • Appointed contractor on first phase of the Heron Tower in the City