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Costain Orders Rise to Record in U.K. Energy Contract Splurge

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Costain Group Plc, a U.K. engineering solutions provider, added orders to a record number in the six months ended June after signing new contracts with National Rail, the National Grid and Centrica Plc.

Costain won more than 700 million pounds ($1.16 billion) in new contracts and extensions in the first half, the Maidenhead, England-based company said in a statement today. That helped boost its order book by 10 percent to 3.2 billion pounds. Sales rose 14 percent to 529.1 million pounds, while adjusted pretax profit rose 8.3 percent to 9.1 million pounds.

“All of our major customers are looking to strategically place contracts over a five to 10 year period,” Costain Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wyllie said in a phone interview. “The railways, the highways, the water companies, oil and gas have to spend money because of legislation, or because of the national need for secure energy, safe drinking water and 21st century transport infrastructure.”

Costain was contracted by National Rail in February to work on a 2 billion pound project supplying electricity to thousands of miles of track across the U.K. while Centrica hired the company to help build its 84 million-pound gas terminal in Barrow in June. London’s growing demand for electricity continues to drive Costain’s project to provide power tunnels to the city, for which it’s responsible for 250 million pounds of civil works.

Costain’s shares fell 0.2 percent to 272.5 pence at 12:07 p.m. in London, paring this year’s gain to 6.2 percent.

The company has hired more than 1,000 workers over the past 12 months, including for jobs in data services, signaling and specialist nuclear design. Costain raised 70.3 million pounds this year to increase its financial capacity, Wyllie said. The share sale “shows our customers we are able take on the very largest contracts that they’re able to place,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Aldane in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at Kim McLaughlin, Alastair Reed

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