Kier reveals new chairman as half-year profit rises

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The Bedfordshire-based company said Mr White would leave after its AGM in November. He will be replaced by Philip Cox, the current chairman of electricty generator Drax. 

Kier this morning posted a 4 per cent year-on-year rise in underlying operating profit to £56.5m in the six months to 31 December 2016. 

Underlying revenue in the period slipped 1 per cent to £2bn.  

The development, construction and services giant revealed it had a group order book of around £9bn, reflecting ”strong pipeline conversion in regional building and highway services”. 

In Kier’s construction business, operating profit jumped 19 per cent to £20.8m as its operating margin edged up to 2 per cent. 

Revenue in the division rose 8 per cent to £1.02bn. Kier’s order book for its construction business is £3.3bn and around £1.1bn of new work was secured in the six-month period.

The firm also revealed it had agreed a joint venture with housing association and care service provider Cross Keys Homes. 

Kier said it would transfer part of its land bank and a number of its residential developments in the Eeast of England, valued at “up to £97m”, into the JV.

Cross Keys will pay up to £4m of equity into the JV, while Kier will receive a cash payment of up to £64m for the assets. The deal is expected to complete by 31 March.  

Kier chief executive Haydn Mursell said: “This transaction enables us to accelerate our strategy to recycle the capital employed in the Kier private land bank to drive the future growth of the group and improve our overall return on capital employed.”  

Earlier this week, Construction News revealed that Kier’s infrastructure managing director Jag Paddam had left the business after an internal review of management.