Balfour Beatty says transformation is underway

Balfour Beatty has been boosted by its US operations
Balfour Beatty has been boosted by its US operations
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​Balfour Beatty has ​returned to the black as the construction firm's turnaround under boss Leo Quinn pick​s​ up pace.

Pre-tax profit came in at £8​m in the ​year to December 31, ​up from a £199​m loss ​the previous​ year after the firm was held back by onerous construction contracts that delivered poor returns.

Underlying revenue rose 4​ per cent​ to £8.5​bn as Balfour's order book was boosted 15​ per cent​ to £12.7​bn.

Mr Quinn, who has been cutting costs under his Build To Last programme, said: "The transformation of Balfour Beatty is well under way. We have returned the group to profit and significantly exceeded our Build to Last phase one targets.

"All this positions us for future profitable growth."

The group was also boosted by its biggest US contract win to date last year, a £524​m deal to electrify 52 miles​ of California's railway.

The company will lay the infrastructure for new high-speed trains along the Caltrain rail corridor which runs across 17 cities between San Francisco and San Jose.

The deal is being hailed for opening the door to the US market as US President Donald Trump makes infrastructure spending one of his main priorities.

Balfour added: "The trading environment in the Group's core UK and US markets remains positive.

"In the UK, government policy is helping to drive a strong pipeline of major infrastructure projects in transport and energy."