Balfour reports loss of £59m, suspends dividend

Balfour Beatty
Balfour Beatty
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British infrastructure group Balfour Beatty reported a total loss of £59m in 2014 and said it had suspended its dividend as a result of ongoing challenges in its UK construction contracts.

The further losses come as another blow to the troubled company as it looks to draw a line under a challenging year that featured a string of profit warnings, board departures and a failed takeover approach.

Balfour, which provides construction, engineering and facilities management services in more than 80 countries, said it planned to work through the severe legacy of “problem” construction projects and faced major challenges in the short term.

Leo Quinn, group chief executive, said: “Over the next two years we should work through the severe legacy of “problem” construction projects. However, in tackling the cultural change required to ensure these issues are behind us, we face major short-term challenges. The key is that we are determined to address this through self-help. Our transformation programme, Build to Last, is gaining rapid traction and we are driving initial improvements of £200m cash in, £100m cost out over 24 months.

Mr Quinn added: “I remain convinced that all our operations can achieve industry-standard performance as markets improve. The real prize is a sustainable return to profitable growth, built on the Group’s unique capabilities, underpinned by leaner, stronger processes and flawless execution. Longer term we believe that as a leader in its core markets Balfour Beatty should be able to deliver superior returns to the benefit of its customers, employees and shareholders.”