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Balfour Beatty performs better in UK building sector this year

The Balfour Beatty group says its trading performance in the building sector is better than last year and that it is reaping the benefits of a 'high quality' order book.
The statements were made in the construction services giant's trading update for the half-year ended June 27, 2009.

The trading update stated: 'We continue to have a high-quality order book, which, at the half year, is expected to be broadly in line with the £12.8 billion reported for December 31, 2008. 'Performance in the building sector has exceeded last year, with the UK steady and the US strong'.

'Our strong market positions, the resilience of our business model and our high-quality order book mean that we anticipate making progress in 2009', it added.

The group said its trading performance was supported by its customers' continued infrastructure expenditure, the benefit of acquisitions and tight control of costs.

The group's concentration on public sector contracts (85% of its order book) has cushioned it from the recessionary blow striking many construction firms.

In the investments sector, the board reported it had reached financial close in the first half of the year on three of the four PPP projects at preferred bidder stage, including the £170 million Fife General Hospital and the £200 million Southwark Schools for the Future programme.

Balfour Beatty's cash position remains strong with average net cash in excess of £200 million for the first six months of 2009.

The group's half year trading update was published in advance of its half-year results announcement on August 12.
3 July 2009

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