Highways projects help drive Kier’s results

Highways Reporters

Kier has announced strong results for the year ended 30 June 2014 after strengthening its position in the highways market.

For the year ended 30 June 2014 Kier delivered revenue of £3.0bn (2013: £2.0bn) up 51% on the previous year, following nearly a full year inclusion of the May Gurney acquisition. Underlying operating profit* is also up, increasing by 59% to £88.0m (2013: £47.6m). Overall operating margins* remained robust at 2.1% in the construction division (2013: 2.3%) and 4.8% in the services division (2013: 4.4%), in line with expectations. Underlying earnings per share are up 2% to 107.7p (2013: 105.6p) and the proposed full year dividend is increased by 6% to 72.0p (2013: 68.0p), reflecting the group’s progressive dividend policy and the board’s confidence in the group.

Kier Group works on highways maintenance in partnership with local authorities across the UK as well as constructing a wide range of road and rail infrastructure projects.

It also works in the areas of property, residential, construction and services.

The business highlighted a very robust future pipeline of work with Kier Services and Kier Construction order books totalling £6.2bn (2013: £4.3bn) with more than 90% (2013: 88%1) secured and probable for 2015.

Commenting on the results, Kier Group chief executive, Haydn Mursell said: "We have been able to deliver a strong set of results, in part, thanks to consolidation and growth in core sectors like highways. We have built upon a strong reputation with our local authority clients to consolidate major maintenance contracts, as well as delivering substantial construction projects ranging from building the £450m Mersey Gateway to the new Corby Link road. With the proposed Infrastructure Bill progressing through Parliament bringing major investment to our road network and transforming the nature and remit of the Highways Agency, we see strong opportunities to leverage the breadth and depth of Kier’s combined maintenance and construction skill set to continue to expand our operations in the sector.”

* Underlying operating profits and margins, pre-tax profits and EPS are stated before exceptional items totalling £42.2m (2013: £17.0m), amortisation of intangible assets relating to contract rights of £10.8m (2013: £3.4m) and unwind of discount in respect of deferred consideration and fair value adjustments made on acquisition of £5.3m (2013: £1.3m). Reported operating profit was £35.0m (2013: £35.1m), reported pre-tax profit was £14.8m (2013 £25.9m) and reported EPS was 18.4p (2013: 62.6p). 2013 results have been restated to reflect this presentation (see note [4]).

1 Including May Gurney.
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