Balfour Beatty boss throws in towel after its third profit warning

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​The chairman of Balfour Beatty ​has ​announced his intention to quit the troubled company after it issued its third profits warning this year.

Former Railtrack boss Steve Marshall, who has been running Balfour since the departure of chief executive Andrew McNaughton in May, highlighted a further £75​m shortfall in its UK construction arm.

The company has hired accountancy firm KPMG to review the division after taking additional losses and write-downs across a number of contracts.

Mr Marshall described the latest trading statement as “extremely disappointing” and said he planned to step down from the board once a new chief executive has been appointed and his own replacement is identified.

He joined the board in 2005 and has been chairman since 2008. Earlier this summer, he led Balfour’s fight against a £3​bn merger with rival Carillion.

Mr Marshall said: “There has been inconsistent operational delivery across some parts of the UK construction business and that is unacceptable. Restoring consistency will take time and it has our full focus.”

Nearly half of the £75​m shortfall in UK construction stems from Balfour’s engineering services operation, which has been impacted by design changes, project delays, rework on projects and contractual disputes.

The division was also the subject of a £35​m downgrade in July.

“We have continued to experience programme slippage, resource and skills shortages, poor operational delivery and cost inflation pressures​,” Balfour Beatty said.​

“The total number of problem contracts has increased to 25, from the 21 previously disclosed.”