‘Smart’ changes boost profits at Costain by 18%

Costain’s ongoing transformation into a “smart infrastructure solutions company” is continuing to pay dividends after the firm reported another strong performance with an 18% increase in underlying operating profit to £49 million.

Revenue, including share of joint ventures and associates, increased 4% to £1,728.9m (2016: £1,658.0m), while underlying operating rose to £48.7m from £41.1m.

The natural resources division returned to profit for the first time in several years and the infrastructure division delivered a strong performance despite high bid costs last year on major projects.

Costain ended 2017 with a net cash position increased of £177.7m (2016: £140.2m) while average month-end net cash for the year increased to £96.7m (2016: £69.1m).

The firm maintained a forward order book at £3.9 billion, with over £1.1bn of revenue secured for 2018.

Looking ahead the group said it was “well positioned” through long-term strategic client relationships and an increase to over 1,300 people in consultancy and technology roles, to deliver multi-billion pound programmes.

Dr Paul Golby CBE, chairman, said: “Costain had another strong year with increases in revenue, profit and cash.

“Our performance is a direct consequence of our ongoing transformation and differentiation into the UK’s leading smart infrastructure solutions company. This transformation keeps Costain relevant to our clients who are faced with ever greater urgency and complexity in meeting the UK’s infrastructure needs, and who require our technology-led offering to help deliver their multi-billion pound programmes and service enhancements.

“As a result of our strong performance and our confidence for the future, I am pleased to announce the Board’s recommendation to increase the total dividend for the year by 10% and I look forward to reporting on future progress.”

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