March 23 Britain's Kier Group is on
track to meet its full-year expectations, the construction and
support services company said on Thursday, as it reported a 4
percent rise in first-half profit and a larger order book.
The company also announced a joint venture with CKH
Developments Ltd, an east England-focused housing association
and care services provider, which it said would free up funds to
invest in other parts of its business.
Kier, whose activities range from building power stations to
outsourcing work for local councils, said it would transfer land
and residential developments worth 97 million pounds ($121
million) to the joint venture, while receiving a cash payment of
up to 64 million pounds.
The company's underlying operating profit rose to 56.5
million pounds in the six months ended Dec. 31, up from 54.4
million a year earlier.
Helped by demand in its regional building and highway
services businesses, it reported an order book of about 9
billion pounds, up from 8.7 billion at the end of June.
"The group's breadth provides some resilience against
economic uncertainty and we continue to shape Kier to focus on
our core competencies," CEO Haydn Mursell said in a statement.
($1 = 0.7995 pounds)
(Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)