March 1 (Reuters) - British building support services company Carillion's healthy order book and pipeline of expected contract opportunities provides a strong platform for this year, the company said after reporting a drop in profit last year.
The company, which maintains British railways, roads and military bases, posted pretax profit down 5 percent at 146.7 million pounds ($181.4 million) for the year to Dec. 31, citing delays in UK government spending since June's Brexit vote and slower business in the Middle East as the region grapples with low oil prices.
However, Carillion said that underlying pretax profit rose 1 percent to 178 million pounds, in line with expectations, and that it had a pipeline of secured and probable orders of 16 billion pounds at Dec. 31.
The pipeline of contract opportunities stood at about 41.6 billion pounds, it added.
"We will accelerate the rebalancing of our business into markets and sectors where we can win high-quality contracts ... while actively managing the positions we have in challenging markets," Chairman Philip Green said in a statement. ($1 = 0.8087 pounds)
Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman