- Infrastructure solutions company Costain said CEO Andrew Wyllie would be stepping down in May as the company reported flat pre-tax profits as revenues were hurt by weaker performance in its industrial segment.

For the year ended 31 December 2018, reported pre-tax profits fell to £40.2m from £41.8m and revenues slipped to £1.489m from £1.729m a year earlier.

The infrastructure division, saw revenues fall to £1,093.6m for the year, from £1,379.7m year earlier.

The revenue and profit reduction resulted from a lower level of lower-margin large capital project activity compared to the prior year. In 2019, 'we are targeting an increase in profit and margin on a lower revenue reflecting our strategic change in mix of activities and the timing of major regulatory investment programmes,' the company said.

Profits were also dragged lower by a one-off pension charge of £8.6m.

Excluding the one-off charge, underlying operating profit rose 7% to £52.5m.

The group ended the year with a record order book of £4.2bn, up from £3.9bn a year earlier, with over £1.8bn of new contract awards and extensions to existing contracts secured during the year.

The company proposed a final dividend of 10p, taking the total dividend for year to 15.15p, up 8% on last year.

'This success has been driven by providing smart infrastructure solutions that expertly integrate consultancy, complex delivery, technology and asset optimisation services,' the company said. 'Costain is at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving UK infrastructure market, working with our clients on a long-term, strategic basis to deliver their progressively larger and more complex investment programmes. This increasingly differentiated strategic positioning underpins our ambition for continued growth.'

'We announced today that Andrew Wyllie CBE, after fourteen years as chief executive of the Company, is retiring in order to pursue a non-executive career and that Alex Vaughan, currently managing director of the Group's natural resources division, will be appointed as CEO with effect from the conclusion of the Company's AGM on 7 May 2019.'

At 9:08am: [LON:COST] Costain Group PLC share price was -16.5p at 381p

Story provided by