Costain’s energy pays off with £150m order book

Construction and engineering giant Costain's energy and nuclear processing division, based in Wythenshawe, delivered an operating profit of £3.1m in the first half of 2010, the group said today.

The half-year profit level was a slight improvement on the same period last year when it posted £2.7m. Revenue from energy and processing during the period was £62.4m, compared to £42.5m in H1 2009.

The division works in hydrocarbons & chemicals, nuclear processing and power. Costain said it had increased business development cost and resource in the period and forecast potential growth opportunities in power. The current order book from energy is £150m.

Among Costain's ongoing energy contracts is the £297m engineering and construction of the Evaporator D project at Sellafield, one of the UK's largest nuclear decommissioning projects, awarded in summer 2009. Costain also won the £397m PFI contract to design, construct and commission 44 different facilities for the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority.

The Berkshire-headquartered group said it continues to build its capability in the power sector and is hopeful for the UK's nuclear new build programme, which it described as "gathering pace".

The interim statement issued this morning added: "Further orders have been received from E.ON for the gas plant for the underground storage facility being constructed at Holford in Cheshire. In addition, the operation in Abu Dhabi continues to undertake a number of contracts on the Das Island oil and gas facility."

Overall the group posted H1 revenue of £533.4m, up from £508.2m last time and pre-tax profit of £8.2m, a slight rise from £6.9m in H1 2009. Costain said it has no significant debt and cash in the bank of £133.9m (June 2009: £119.2m).

An interim dividend of 3p a share is proposed.

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