Arab Today, arab today uk\s balfour beatty shifts focus on mideast deals
Last Updated : GMT 23:12:04
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Arab Today, arab today

UK\'s Balfour Beatty shifts focus on MidEast deals

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today UK\'s Balfour Beatty shifts focus on MidEast deals

Doha - Arabstoday

Balfour Beatty, Britain\'s largest contractor, has said it is shifting its work from the UAE where opportunities \"are currently limited\". As it posted a 9 percent rise in full-year profit, the construction giant said it was focusing in the Middle East on markets in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It said opportunities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were now constrained, necessitating a move away from the UAE. Balfour, which operates in some 80 countries and offers a range of infrastructure services, on Thursday reported an underlying pretax profit of £334m ($524.56m) on revenues 3 percent higher at £9.49bn. In a statement, the company said: \"In the Middle East our work is shifting from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where opportunities are currently limited, to other Gulf States such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. \"We see these as growth markets which are integral to our expansion strategy and we have been mobilising some of our UK technical expertise to meet demand in these countries. \"Our long-term contracts include major programme management roles in both the rail and highways sectors in Qatar.\" Balfour, which recently handed over the Aquatics Centre for the London 2012 Olympics, increased the full year dividend by 9 percent to 13.8 pence and said the global outlook was mixed. \"Looking ahead, we are cognisant of some near-term challenges ... but our ongoing programmes to achieve cost efficiency and to recycle capital in our investments business were successful in 2011, and we plan to accelerate them,\" the company said. Balfour said profit improved in professional services, support services and infrastructure investments in 2011, although construction services profit was lower, primarily as a result of declining margins in US construction. It said its order book stable was stable at £15.2bn.

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