- Balfour Beatty reported Wednesday underlying annual profits rose by a tenth as its restructuring plan improved margins in the second half of the year.

For the 12 months to 31 December, underlying pre-tax profit rose 10% to £181m from a year earlier, but revenues slipped 5% to £7.8bn from £8.3bn a year earlier, which was blamed on decision to reduce the order book during 2017.

Statutory profit before tax, which includes non-underlying items, fell to £35m from £65m a year earlier.

'These results demonstrate the value being created through Build to Last. We continue to strengthen the Group and meet our targets,' the company said.

Its UK construction division saw underlying operating profits increased by 75% to £28m while its US construction division saw profits increase 7% to £44m, helping to deliver a 32% rise in construction services profit to £95m for the year.

Profit from operations in the support services business grew 12% to £46m for the year, from a year earlier.

The company's order book increased 11% to £12.6bn in the first half of this year from £11.4bn a year earlier.

The company recommended a final dividend of 3.2p per share, up 33% from 4.8p a year earlier.

'Having achieved industry standard margins in the second half of 2018, the Board remains confident that the Group will perform in line with market expectations in 2019,' the company said.

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