The UK arm of Swedish contractor Skanksa has £2.5bn in its order book, including projects that are at preferred bidder stage, it reported in a company statement.

The firm said that the outlook compared favourably with that of the US division, which has been hit by a lack of infrastructure funding and increased competition.

Skanska UK said that sales had fallen 4% to £648m in the nine months to 30 September but margins had risen from 1.7% to 2.8%.

Highlights in the UK, where Skanska employs 3500 staff, included the completion of the King’s College PFI hospital in London 10 weeks ahead of schedule.

David Fison, chief executive of Skanska UK, said it was focusing on the PFI market. “We are moving the company away from thinking of itself as a builder of bricks and mortar to a builder of end solutions.”

Last year, in a joint venture with Innisfree, it won the £1bn Royal London hospital PFI contract in east London. It was the UK’s biggest PFI hospital contract.

Fison said the company was pressing ahead with plans and expected to reach financial close by the end of the first quarter next year.

Skanska Construction Group changed its name to Skanska UK in August to reflect the fact that it is solely focused on the UK market.

“We have concentrated hard on getting an integrated approach to the way we do business across the whole of Skanska UK,” said Fison.

Skanska UK has appointed directors. Barry White joins as director of education, Mike Staples as development director and James Berry as design director. White has come from Partnerships UK, Staples from Faithful & Gould and Berry from BAA.