Balfour Beatty Posts Third Straight Loss on Problem Contracts

Balfour Beatty Plc, Britain’s biggest builder, recorded its third straight half-year loss as mismanaged construction contracts weighed on earnings.

The loss widened to 150 million pounds ($234 million) from a 43-million-pound loss a year earlier, the London-based company said in a statement Wednesday.

Balfour Beatty dropped 1.5 percent to 248 pence at 8:35 a.m. in London, giving the company a market value of 1.7 billion pounds. The company on July 9 warned that pretax profit in the first half would be cut by 120 million pounds to 150 million pounds because of newly discovered issues with mismanaged construction contracts.

“The headline numbers set out the consequences of the historic issues that are now being tackled,” Chief Executive Officer Leo Quinn said in a statement Wednesday.

Balfour Beatty has been restructuring under Quinn, who joined the company at the start of the year, in light of the poorly managed and undercharged contracts. The company halted a 200 million-pound share-buyback in January and revised down its outlook, while continuing to scrutinize so-called legacy contracts.

Underlying revenue was little changed at 4.09 billion pounds, in line with the average analyst estimate of 4.03 billion pounds. The underlying order book dropped 0.9 percent to 11.3 billion pounds.

Balfour Beatty continues to win new business on better terms, Quinn said. The company can provide shareholders with “superior returns” over the medium term, he said.

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