However, net cash balances, though "strong" at ВЈ90m, are down considerably on the ВЈ144m of the previous year. Kier said it has "continued investment in the UK Supreme Court property development" and has also had to arrange "settlement of deferred land purchase payments during the year".
The group said its construction division "has traded well with strong operating margins and very healthy cash balances", helped by public sector contracts including:A ВЈ27m contract for Network Rail to renew the roof at Kings Cross station; andA ВЈ250m contract for United Utilities, in joint venture, for its Asset Management Programme Five (AMP 5).ADVERTISEMENT
Kier said its orderbook of both signed contracts and preferred bidder and negotiated positions has secured over 85% of its targeted revenue for 2010 and nearly half of its target for 2011.
In support services, the group recently announced its position as preferred bidder on a ВЈ600m, 10-year, outsourcing contract for North Tyneside Council.
Kier's social housing division is trading at lower levels than last year, following restucturing. The business sold a total of 1,140 units during the year (30 June 2008: 2,090 units).
It said: "Selling prices remained under some downward pressure for most of the second half of the year but this has now started to ease and, in certain locations, prices have stabilised. We remain cautious on the outlook for 2010 but we believe the difficult market conditions we have experienced over the last 12 months are beginning to ease and we are well positioned to take advantage of improvements in the housing market as it recovers."
Ardmore wins to boost turnover