Balfour confident after solid H1

Balfour Beatty, the infrastructure and construction giant with offices across the region, reported a 32% rise in pre-tax profits in the half-year ended 26 June.

Revenue including joint ventures and associates rose from £5.072m during the same period in 2009 to £5.199m this year. Pre-tax profit went from £107m to £141m.

Earnings per share rose more modestly by 4% to 15.5p. Average net cash in the bank excluding non-recourse debt in the first half was £436m (2009 first half: £224m).

The strong performance was helped by the contribution from newly acquired Parsons Brinckerhoff, a management and planning consultancy in the same sector whose clients including Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive for the Metrolink extension.

Ian Tyler, chief executive, said: "While the timing of short-term movements in individual markets is difficult to predict, we now have significant capabilities across the infrastructure lifecycle and operate in diverse markets and geographies, which gives us strength and resilience.

"We have a high-quality order book of £14.6 billion at June 2010 and a number of opportunities in the second half of the year. This, along with the actions taken and proposed to drive efficiency, means we are well-positioned to manage any challenges in individual markets. Our continuing progressive dividend policy reflects our confidence in the Group's ability to deliver growth over the medium term."

Balfour Beatty will pay an interim dividend of 5.05p a share, up 5%.

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