Kier shares up 7% on strong results

The diverse development, residential, construction and services group, which employs 300 staff in the region, enjoyed rising profit and turnover in the year to July.

Kier said performance was buoyed by “leading positions in markets with solid long-term fundamentals and a growing order book of approximately £9.5bn”.

Pre-tax profit rose 8% year-on-year to £126m, on turnover of £4.27bn, up 5%. The business has offices in Manchester and Liverpool. Shares were up 75p to £11.70 by 9.30am this morning.

In February, Kier chose Manchester to locate its new financial shared service centre, at 81 Fountain Street, creating 250 jobs and adding to its existing offices in the city at Queen Street and Trafford Park.

Kier is also currently working with Nuffield Health to deliver a hospital on the site of Manchester Metropolitan University’s former campus on Hathersage Road in a £70m project. It has also delivered several schemes for Transport for Greater Manchester including the £6m transport interchange at Wythenshawe and the recently opened £48m transport interchange in Bolton.

In Liverpool, Kier and joint venture partner CTP won the contest to redevelop 400,000 sq ft of offices at Pall Mall Exchange. The firm also recently completed the new £15m Sensor City development in the city’s Knowledge Quarter.

Kier is also one of the construction partners on the £600m Mersey Gateway project, the construction of a six-lane toll bridge over the River Mersey linking Runcorn and Widnes, currently nearing completion. Also in transport, in a joint venture with Carillion, Kier is working to turn junctions 16 to 19 of the M6 into a smart motorway, in a project worth up to £475m.

At a group level Kier sold transport consultancy Mouchel and its stake in renewable energy business Biogen during the year.

Haydn Mursell, chief executive, said: “Our underlying performance for the year was good. Having simplified our portfolio, the group is more focused and able to pursue its growth ambitions in our three core markets; building, infrastructure and housing, which now represent 90% of the group’s revenue and profit. We continue to invest in the business to improve our operational efficiency, providing a robust platform on which to take advantage of the strong long-term fundamentals in these core markets.

“Our construction and services order books of £9.5bn, together with our c.£2bn property development and residential pipelines, provide good long-term visibility of our future work. This visibility, coupled with our healthy balance sheet, provides us with confidence of achieving our Vision 2020 strategic targets.”

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