Balfour targets ‘industry-standard’ margins

Contractor Balfour Beatty has revealed that group performance for the year remains within expectations and aims to achieve industry-standard margins in the second half of 2018.

The firm anticipates average net cash for 2017 of nearly £40m, with a year-end order book also expected to be “broadly in line with the half year”.

Leo Quinn, chief executive, said: “The order book increasingly consists of projects bid and delivered under our enhanced transparency, governance and controls and I remain confident that the group will achieve industry-standard margins in the second half of 2018.”

Balfour Beatty has been taking measures to simplify its businesses, including the recent sale of US engineering company Heery International to a subsidiary of CBRE for $57m.

Quinn added: “The actions that we have taken during the first three years of Build to Last have laid a solid foundation for long-term profitable growth. We continue to invest in our capabilities while de-risking the business.”

The firm has recently been awarded the contract to design, build, finance and operate the £100m Mount Oswald student accommodation project for Durham University.

Full-year results are to be published in the middle of March.