Updates from Kier Group, Essar Energy and Interserve
The FTSE 100 drifted -52.67 points lower on Friday finishing at 5,513 on more growth worries. The biggest faller was Fresnillo, down -4.96% while BT saw the biggest advance, up +1.74%.
Overnight in Asia, the Japanese Nikkei gave away -0.3% today while the Hang Seng rose a modest 0.2%.
We start the week with Kier Group. No huge surprises here. The construction and services player claims trading remains healthy with order books for Construction and Services remaining robust; cash balances still sustained at healthy levels and operating margins are above 2% it says.
In Services trading remains in line with expectations it says; as far as Property Kier is confirmed as preferred bidder for a £50m PFI project to build and maintain 11 fire stations for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, which follows closely behind the £60m PFI project to provide similar facilities for the London Fire Brigade, announced in April.
Kier's Construction order book of secured and probable work represents 85% of its forecast revenue for the 2013 financial year "and the level of tender activity remains high across a range of public and private sector projects," it says. "These include new health frameworks across Wales and Scotland, in excess of £1.5bn of infrastructure schemes that we are bidding in the UK and significant activity in Hong Kong and the Middle East."
Next, power giant Essar Energy. For the 15 months up to 31 March Essar claims strong group revenue growth up to US$22bn (2010 12 months: US$10bn) due to higher refining and marketing revenues in India from higher selling prices and its Stanlow refinery acquisition. However profit before tax and profit after tax before exceptional items slumps to US$129m (2010: US$365.5m) and US$98.2m (2010: US$248.3m).
Naresh Nayyar, chief exec sounds a cautious note: "In our power business we have commissioned 1,580MW of capacity since January 2011 and expect to commission a further 3,900MW in the next 24 months...However, significant further progress is still required in a number of areas and we will be continuing our dialogue with both state and central Government to try and ensure this momentum is not lost."
Lastly, Interserve says it has won a £24m Corby link road contract with Northamptonshire County Council to build the new A43 Corby Link Road. Site preparation works are under way, with the main contract due to start in July. Completion and road opening are expected in early 2014.
"The project will showcase our expertise in major civil works and our commitment to delivering such extensive developments sustainably," says David Paterson, Interserve exec director. "Our major projects team will work with local suppliers to achieve this."