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Bam UK results hamper margins

FINANCE - Interim results show UK profits down at the Dutch giant

BAM'S profits from work in the UK and Ireland sank in the first half of this year, knocking the Dutch giant's aspiration of yanking margins up to 3.5 per cent.

UK subsidiaries HBG and Edmund Nuttall and two Irish operations produced more than a third of Bam's profits and turnover but margins fell from 3.7 per cent to 3 per cent.

A Bam spokesman said: 'This fall was not unexpected and profits will be higher in the second half.

'The group is five times larger than it was five years ago and we will now be consolidating and concentrating on operating to a margin of 3.5 per cent.'

In the first half of this year, Bam ploughed £37 million into Public Private Partnership-style work.

The firm had 19 PPP deals by the middle of 2004, with seven operational, and a total of £185 million tied up in concessions.

Most of Bam's PPP work is in the UK and Germany but it wants to do more on the continent to provide work for its facilities management arm and has a new division to achieve this.

Overall, Bam had a £6.6 billion order book and expects a full year profit of £54.3 million on turnover of £4.7 billion.

Nearly half the workload at Bam, which owns civils outfit Ascon and building firm Rohcon in Ireland, comes from The Netherlands but the firm also made a £5.6 million operating profit in the US after turning over £88 million.