City analyst tips Balfour Beatty for H1 loss

Liberum said Balfour Beatty’s UK construction business will post losses of £65m, while its Middle East construction division will post a loss of £5m loss. It said this would result in an overall loss of £50m in construction services for H1, with a “very H2-weighted full year results”.

Despite this, Liberum said Balfour Beatty management was “still confident” of hitting 2-3 per cent margins in its construction business in 2018.

But it warned that “non-residential” construction companies will be hit by the UK’s decision to leave the EU, highlighting a previous sector analysis Liberium published on the impact of Brexit last week.

“Just when [contractors] dared to hope for GDP recovery and a splurge in infrastructure, GDP has been weakened and government is in crisis,” the sector note said.

“We revisit all of our earnings estimates, and see some strained balance sheets, which may result in pressure on dividends.”

The analyst today said to expect delays in the UK construction sector due to political uncertainty caused by the vote to leave the EU.

Although it added: “We believe the need for better UK infrastructure is real and Brexit may eventually lead the government to adopt monetary finance/fiscal QE, which could be positive.”

Balfour Beatty will report its interim results on 17 August.

Balfour Beatty has been contacted for comment.

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