Balfour exceeds targets but profits fall

Balfour Beatty Plc has announced a 65% fall in pre-tax profits for the 2020 calendar year.

The Group said underlying profit was £51m for the year after its decision to repay furlough cash from the Job Retention Scheme, down from £221m in 2019.

Pre-tax profits were £48m, down 65% from £138m the previous year, with revenue at £8.59bn, up slightly from £8.41bn in 2019.

Group chief executive Leo Quinn said: ‘Throughout the pandemic, we have protected the Group’s strengths, supported our stakeholders and held firm to our disciplines. That we achieved this while exceeding our own targets for net cash demonstrates Balfour Beatty’s resilience and the dedication of our people and partners.

‘Our leading positions in large growing infrastructure and construction markets, record year end order book and £1.1bn investments portfolio provide confidence in future cash generation. This underpins our new capital allocation framework which demonstrates Balfour Beatty’s commitment to deliver enhanced returns to shareholders.’

The Group also pointed to a ‘higher quality order book’ up at £16.4bn, up by 15% from £14.3b, providing ‘clear medium-term visibility’, and a ‘strong cash performance’, with average net cash at £527m, up from £325m in 2019 and ‘exceeding previous guidance’.

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