Balfour Beatty announces £150m share buyback as profits rise
Construction company Balfour Beatty posted a jump in full-year profit on Wednesday as it announced a £150m share buyback and hailed a "strong" operational and financial performance across the group.
In the year to the end of December 2022, underlying operating profit was 42% higher at £279m, with underlying pre-tax profit coming in at £291m, up from £187m a year earlier.
Underlying basic earnings per share rose to 47.5p from 29.7p and the company lifted the full-year dividend by 17% to 10.5p a share.
Balfour said the order book grew 8% to £17.4bn and announced a £150m share buyback for the third consecutive year.
Chief executive Leo Quinn said: "The strong results in 2022 are a testament to Balfour Beatty's transformation into a well-balanced and lower risk group.
"The diversified portfolio, both geographically in the UK, US and Hong Kong, and operationally across Construction Services, Support Services and Infrastructure Investments, plus the strength of our balance sheet and cash management, have provided the resilience for the group to deliver ahead of expectations and grow our order book through the global instability seen in 2022."
Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said: "Balfour Beatty is returning cash to shareholders through a share buyback and a dividend increase, in a sign of confidence from the infrastructure company about its outlook. At a time when many businesses are cutting dividends to combat the sluggish macroeconomic backdrop, income investors will be encouraged by the increased shareholder pay outs.
"Balfour Beatty has also benefitted from portfolio diversification both in terms of its variety of operations as well as its range of geographies. Shares have rallied by more than 35% over a one-year period and are trading higher today."