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UPDATE 1-Balfour Beatty returns to annual profit
March 16, 2017 / 7:51 AM / in 9 months

UPDATE 1-Balfour Beatty returns to annual profit

 (Adds details)
    March 16 (Reuters) - Balfour Beatty          on Thursday
said it returned to annual profit on the back of strong growth
in its U.S. construction division and an improved performance
from its British business in the second half.
    The company reported pretax profit from continuing
operations before one-off items of 60 million pounds ($74
million) for the year to Dec. 31, marking a rebound from a loss
of 123 million a year earlier.
    Balfour has spent two years overhauling its operations after
losses at its construction division in Britain led to multiple
profit warnings. The company had to scrap its 2015 dividend,
cancel a share buy back and reorganise pension payments. The
group reinstated its dividend last summer.             
    "Having simplified the group, we are focused on our core
markets in the UK and US, where governments are committed to
large scale expenditure on infrastructure," Chief Executive Leo
Quinn said in a statement.
    Balfour said on Thursday it had reached its target of
achieving practical completion on 90 percent of its
"challenging" contracts by the end of 2016.
    Its order book from continuing operations at constant
exchange rates rose 15 percent to 12.7 billion pounds.
    Following the reinstatement of the dividend, the company
said it recommended a final dividend of 1.8 pence per share.
    $1 = 0.8143 pounds)

 (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely
and Jane Merriman)

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