- Construction company Balfour Beatty hiked its dividend by a third after reporting a rise in pre-tax profit on higher revenue.

For the year ended 31 December 2019, underlying pre-tax profit rose £138m from £123m as revenue increased 9% to £8.4bn on-year.

A decrease in profit on disposals from a year earlier weighed on growth, the company said.

'The sell-down of infrastructure investments generated £82m profit on disposals (in 2018) compared to £69m of profit on disposals from the portfolio in 2019,' the company said.

The full-year dividend was raised by 33% increase to 6.4p a share.

'The group is committed to delivering value from this performance. It is continuing to pay down borrowings with US$46 million of US private placement notes repaid in early March 2020, and £112m of preference shares to be repaid in July 2020. In addition, the board will review Balfour Beatty's capital structure once there is clearer understanding of the COVID-19 situation,' the company said.

'At this point in time, all sites and offices in the UK, the US and Hong Kong remain open. However, it is too early to fully assess any impact of the (coronavirus) outbreak on the operational and financial performance of the group,' it added.

At 8:10am: [LON:BBY] Balfour Beatty PLC share price was +17p at 237.8p

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