Morgan Sindall shares hit after profits fall

Morgan Sindall Group, which contains developer Muse, social housing company Lovell, fit-out firm Overbury and a construction arm, produced mixed results for 2013.

Operating profit dipped to £33.6m from £48.1m in 2012; year-end net cash in the bank was £70m, compared to £50m in 2012; group revenue was £2,095m against £2,047m the year before. The construction margin was 1%.

The dividend for the year is 27.0p per share (2012: 27.0p). The group's committed order book stands at £2.4bn (2012: £2.2bn) and the regeneration & development pipeline grew to £3.0bn (2012: £2.5bn).

Shares in Morgan Sindall fell more than 6% to 743p by mid-morning.

Morgan Sindall's synonymous construction division, based in Salford Quays, posted a £2m loss after a £14.7m provision for problem contracts.

Construction jobs ongoing in the North West include a £15m contract for the new St Hilda's Church of England High School in Sefton Park, Liverpool, and a £7m 42,000 sq ft office and lab building at Liverpool Science Park.

In November, Morgan Sindall's infrastructure business was awarded, in joint venture with Carillion, the construction contract of the £290m A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road scheme.

Graham Shennan, managing director of Morgan Sindall, said: "2013 was a busy year for Morgan Sindall despite challenging market conditions. The hard work of our people, combined with our collaborative relationships with supply chain and joint venture partners, has ensured that we have continued to secure strategically important contracts and framework positions across a wide range of market sectors. As a result, we enter 2014 with a strong order book and this, combined with our commitment to safe and sustainable working, delivering a fully integrated offering on complex projects, and a reputation for consistently delivering outstanding service to our customers, positions us well to take advantage of the upturn in our markets."

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