Kier sees confidence coming back into group’s key sectors

Haydn Mursell: 'Confidence is rising and therefore our activity levels have responded.'
Haydn Mursell: 'Confidence is rising and therefore our activity levels have responded.'
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Property and construction and services business Kier Group said revenue and profits were both up as economic confidence returns to its core markets.

Kier, which employs over 1,000 people across Yorkshire and has offices in Leeds, York, Sheffield and Barnsley, said revenue was up 14 per cent to £3.4bn and underlying pre-tax profit rose 17 per cent to £85.9m, in line with expectations.

The firm said a range of projects in the region contributed to the strong results, including the £25m redevelopment of Catterick Garrison town centre, which will open officially later this month.

Working with Bruntwood, the company is also constructing the new £30m development at 3 Sovereign Square in Leeds, providing over 90,000 sq ft of grade A office space.

Kier also opened its new 8,500 sq ft regional headquarters in Leeds earlier this year.

Haydn Mursell, chief executive at Kier, said: “Economic confidence is returning to our core markets and, furthermore, the acquisition of Mouchel represents a major step in accelerating the group’s five-year strategy.”

He added: “This year the stand-out results are probably in our property division and construction, particularly in UK building where we are seeing a revenue increase getting on for 20 per cent year-on-year.

“That’s really for me the most tangible sign that the economy is recovering as people want bigger offices, confidence is rising and therefore our activity levels have responded accordingly.”

Mr Musell added that all the divisions had performed well.

He said: “We continue to simplify the portfolio and restructure our businesses and invest in our future growth. With a £9.3bn order book, a strong balance sheet and continued progress on our Vision 2020 goals this year, we look forward to the future with confidence.”

The accounting picture was complicated by a series of one-off charges and the impact of a share issue to help fund the £265m purchase of road maintenance company Mouchel.

The dividend fell to 55.2p, from 57.6p a year earlier.

In Sheffield, Kier is currently building the new Sheffield North Active Leisure and Sports facility, with a six-lane swimming pool, learner pool and fitness suite, which is scheduled for completion in March 2016.