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Balfour Beatty reports 14pc rise in profit thanks to US growth

Balfour Beatty saw a 14 per cent rise in pre-tax profit for the first half of the year, boosted by a strong UK civils market and growth in the firm’s US operations.

Balfour Beatty reported an adjusted pre-tax profit of £108 million for the six months to 27 June 2009 compared with £95 million last year.

Turnover including joint ventures increased 17 per cent to £5 billion, from £4.3 billion a year ago.

Balfour Beatty’s US business now accounts for 30 per cent of its turnover, with 50 per cent coming from the UK and 20 per cent the rest of the world.

The UK civils division enjoyed a strong period boosted by a number of big wins including the £6 billion M25 widening programme.

Balfour Beatty chief executive Ian Tyler said: “We have made good progress in growing our business presence in the US, based on the principles which have made our UK business so successful.

“Our strong first half performance, together with the visibility provided by our significant order book of high-quality work, underpins our confidence in the prospects of the group and we anticipate making good progress in 2009.”

Despite the strong overall performance Balfour Beatty’s order book actually dipped slightly to £12.5 billion from £12.8 billion at the end of 2008.

This was largely down to an 18 per cent dip in the building division’s order book – now £5.5 billion – which Balfour said reflected the impact of the downturn in commercial building.

In a separate announcement Balfour Beatty revealed it has been selected by South West Water to work on its five-year £590 million K5 capital programme.

The deal is expected to be worth £100 million to Balfour Beatty.