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Facilities management helps Balfour Beatty's strong start

Balfour Beatty is optimistic about the coming year after a positive start to 2008 – with construction and facilities management sectors amongst the strongest performers.

In a trading statement to shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting chairman Sir David John KCMG said: “We anticipate that order intake and trading performance will remain strong during the course of 2008 and that we will continue to add to our long-term earning power through investment and acquisition. We anticipate that 2008 performance will be at the top end of current expectations.”

The statement also serves as the Group’s Interim Management Statement for the period January 1 to May 14.

Sir David said: “I am very pleased to report that trading performance in 2008 to date has been strong. A number of major new orders has been secured across our business sectors and geographical markets and our confirmed order book and anticipated work pipeline has grown further from its very satisfactory year-end levels.”

Orders secured so dar this year included the contract to build the £300 million London Olympic Aquatics Centre, the new £320 million Central Government Complex and Legislative Council Complex in Hong Kong, the £320 million contract to design and build additions and renovations at the National Military Medical Centre in Maryland and the £125 million expansion of the Peabody Hotel in Florida.

The company has also secured £220 million of new orders for building and building services work in Dubai.

Sir David added: “The conversion of three PPP preferred bidder positions, with a total construction value of £320 million and an equity commitment of £14 million, is anticipated in the near future.”

Strong performances were seen in the US and UK building sectors said Sir David with “particularly strong performance” at Balfour Beatty Construction, Mansell and Haden Building Management - which secured a substantial extension to its facilities management contract for BT during the period.