Balfour Beatty shares plummet as infrastructure group issues fresh profit warning

3rd July 2014

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Shares in infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty have collapsed in early trading after the group issued another profit warning.

In its latest market update, the FTSE 250 constituent admitted that it has endured a “further worsening in the trading performance” of its engineering services arm, which has resulted in a £35m profit shortfall.

The firm said it plans make it up by selling-off public-private partnership projects.

But by circa 11am shares in the engineering and construction group had plummeted by 11%, or 24.2p, to 207.97p. The latest trading update marks its fourth profit warning over the past two years, and while the stock is up 5% over one year, the past six months have seen it slide by a steep 20%.

Today’s statement asserted that given the issues it is facing it is “reviewing the size and geographic footprint of the business with the aim of ensuring a smaller, more focused business”.

Just yesterday analysts at Liberium Capital had reiterated a ‘buy’ recommendation on the business and today reports show that brokers at Jeffries reaffirmed its ‘hold’ rating –  in line with the consensus.

The group is set to publish its results for the half-year ended 27 June on 13 August and in today’s update it asserted that overall pre-tax profit expectations for 2014 remain unchanged and are anticipated to come in between £145 – £160m.

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