Kier toasts good start to year

The construction and development company, active across the North West, produced solid half-year results with turnover up sharply and a “resilient profit margin” of 2%.

Turnover was £2.1bn in the six months to the end of December, up 32% on the same period in 2014, and pre-tax profit was £18m, down from £27.8m in December 2014 due to the cost of integrating Mouchel.

Net debt was £174m and the group said working capital performance was “good” with “strong operating cash conversion”.

Kier is currently on site building a new interchange for Bolton and recently completed a similar scheme for Transport for Greater Manchester in Wythenshawe. Kier is also lead contractor in the new £540m toll bridge across the Mersey between Widnes and Runcorn due to open next year.

Kier employs around 1,000 people in the region.

Haydn Mursell, chief executive, said: “I am pleased to announce a good set of interim results which show the continued strength and breadth of the group’s capabilities and our presence in growing market sectors. The group remains on course to deliver expectations for the full-year.

“In the UK, our core markets are improving which provides a platform for growth, particularly for our property, residential and regional building businesses, and over the medium-term for our infrastructure businesses. Mouchel has been substantially integrated and is performing well. Our presence in infrastructure services, regional building and housing aligns to growth markets with high visibility of forward pipelines and now accounts for 75% of the group’s turnover.

“We are encouraged by the robust pipelines in property and residential and the order books totalling £9bn in construction and services. We remain focused on ensuring that the group is fit for growth by continuing to focus on our operational efficiency and continuing to manage risk closely. This discipline, combined with the resilience and flexibility provided by the portfolio of businesses in the group, will continue to underpin our performance. We look forward to the future with confidence.”

Shares in Kier were up 14p to 1314p.

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