Group reports a ‘significant’ recovery in profitability over 2007 as building division makes steady progress

Costain has announced 2007 profit in line with expectations following a strong performance in its civil engineering division.

The group forecast a return to the black following the £61.7m loss in 2006. Pre-tax profit forecast for 2007 was £18.02m while turnover is expected to rise 3% to £767.88m.

Costain said its civil engineering business continued its strong performance in the second half and that the realigned building division continued to make steady progress.

Looking into 2008 chief execurtive Andrew Wyllie said Costain was ready to capitalise on “the many opportunities available in its chosen market sectors.”

The group said its oil & gas division, COGAP, had performed ahead of expectations.

Costain has been announced as preferred bidder on a number of PFI projects including the construction of a new £70m campus for the University of Worcester and the £300m Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority's PFI Contract.

In December it sold its 50% investment in the 30-year Sirhowy Enterprise Way PFI in Wales to John Laing.

Costain announced a number of board changes this morning. James Morley has been appointed as a non-executive director of the group with immediate effect and succeeds David Allvey as chairman of the audit committee. Allvey became chairman of the group on 1 January 2008.

John Bryant will become the group's first senior independent director and Mike Alexander will become chairman of the remuneration committee.