Balfour Beatty shares fall 20% after fifth profit warning

Balfour Beatty, Britain’s largest construction group, has issued a profit warning after a $122m shortfall in revenue was forecast at its UK construction division. It is the Balfour’s fifth such announcement since 2012. Shares in the company fell 20% when the markets opened this morning.  

Steve Marshall, Balfour’s executive chairman, announced that he would step down from his post once a chief executive and replacement non-executive chairman were found. The recruitment process is understood to be at an advanced stage. 

Marshall said: "This latest trading statement is extremely disappointing; the board has appointed KPMG to undertake a thorough review across the contract portfolio within Construction Services UK. There has been inconsistent operational delivery across some parts of the UK construction business and that is unacceptable."

Balfour will focus on completing the sale of its US engineering unit Parsons Brinckerhoff to Canada’s WSP, a deal that was agreed for $1.35bn. The fate of Parsons was a deciding factor in the breakdown last month of merger talks between Balfour Beatty and Carillion.

Balfour Beatty will shut unprofitable offices in Wales and the South West. 

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