Updates from Balfour Beatty and Centamin


A 12.7 point climb for the FTSE 100 on Friday, taking it +0.19% higher to 6,730.6. High street retailer Next was the biggest climber by some margin, soaring 10% to 6085p on strong Christmas sales - Next shares are up 47% on the year - while M&S also rose strongly, up almost 4% to 444p.

The Dow Jones finished Friday 28 points higher at 16,469.

A subdued day on the news front. We commence with news from gold miner Centamin with a 7% increase in total gold production for the quarter and 8% higher than Q3 2013. Centamin claims this brings full year production to 356,943 ounces, a 36% increase on 2012 and above guidance of 320,000 ounces.

Open pit total material movement decreased 8% from Q3 2013 to 9,642kt and open pit ore production decreased 7% on Q3 2013 to 3,161kt, says Centamin. The run of mine ore stockpile balance increased by 219kt to 1,756kt at the end of the period.

"Despite the weak gold price environment," says Josef El-Raghy, Centamin chairman, "we again exit the year with a robust financial and operating base on which to continue delivering our growth strategy."

Next, Balfour Beatty says it has been awarded a £154 million contract to carry out the transformation works to the London 2012 Olympic Stadium for its operator, E20 Stadium LLP, a joint venture between the London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council.

At construction peak the project will employ up to 400 people. Works commence on site early in 2014 and is due for completion in the spring of 2016.

Last month Balfour poached Barhale chief exec Mark Cutler as its new regional construction and civil engineering managing director, joining the business at the end of this month.

Finally, aerospace player Meggitt has announced the appointment of David Johnson as chief operating officer. This newly created position gives Johsn responsibility for the performance of Meggitt's operating divisions.

Johnson will be succeeded as President, Meggitt Equipment Group by Stewart Watson, formerly finance director, Meggitt Equipment Group. These changes are effective immediately.

"Both David and Stewart," says Stephen Young, group chief exec, "are well respected leaders, having demonstrated exceptional commitment and capability over the course of their careers at Meggitt, and I very much look forward to working closely with them in their new roles."