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Balfour Beatty in a 'strong' position with £13.7bn order book

Balfour Beatty has said that trading and its financial position remain strong with a forward order book of around £13.7 billion.

In a trading update ahead of its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2009 Balfour Beatty said its average net cash for the second half of the year being in excess of £300 million.

The firm said the acquisition of Parsons Brinckerhoff in October last year was the realisation of a number of key strategic objectives and has given the group significantly enhanced capabilities and presence across the entire life cycle of major infrastructure assets.

Balfour Beatty has re-evaluated how it will report the group’s business in its full year results and has decided it will report the business in four segments: construction services, professional services, support services and infrastructure investments.

The construction services division had a particularly strong year with good performances from the building businesses, especially in the US.

Professional services has been transformed by the acquisition of Parsons Brinckerhoff and Balfour said integration work has continued to proceed well, including the integration of Heery in the US and Balfour Beatty Management in the UK.

Support services, which comprises utilities, facilities management, rail renewals and highways maintenance activities, has performed well in the year, and with recent wins finishes the year with a strong future order book.

The pipeline of bidding activity in Infrastructure Investments in the UK remains strong - earlier this week, Balfour announced it had reached financial close on the £450 million Blackburn with Darwen and Bolton Councils Building Schools for the Future programme.

The trading update said: “We have benefited in 2009 from continued expenditure in infrastructure markets and finish the year with a strong order book.

“The breadth of our portfolio, enhanced by the acquisition of Parsons Brinckerhoff, means our group is resilient and we remain confident about the prospects for the group overall, in spite of the economic uncertainties in some of our markets.”