Balfour Beatty to raise dividend as it reaveals HS2 rail scheme has added £3bn to its order book
Construction giant Balfour Beatty hiked its annual dividend as it revealed a big boost from the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail scheme.
The company said Government approval for HS2 added £3billion to the value of its order book.
It had not counted the value of the work because of doubts over the scheme.
Dividend boost: Balfour Beatty said Government approval for HS2 added £3bn to the value of its order book
Balfour raised its full-year dividend from 4.8p per share to 6.4p after profits rose from £123million to £138million in 2019, with revenue up from £7.8billion to £8.4billion.
The shares rose 19.8 per cent, or 43.8p, to 264.6p. But Balfour said it would hold off from a share buyback because of market turmoil linked to Covid-19.
Boss Leo Quinn said Balfour would pay down debts and continue to review its shares structure, with any buyback unlikely until the full impact was clearer.
It had been reported that it would announce a £200million buyback.
Its order book will rise from £14.3billion at the end of 2019 to £17.3billion in the first half of 2020.
Its other projects include the nuclear power plant Hinkley Point in Somerset, and Highways England’s £25billion roads strategy.