This week I am looking at Kier Group plc, the integrated construction and property services company that announced its interim results last month. The figures were encouraging and reflected the group’s robust position in key markets compared to peers. Group revenue was up by more than 10% and the interim dividend was increased by 7%, reflecting the Board’s confidence for the future. Order books shrank heavily across the industry during the recession but the building and construction services sector is now experiencing an improvement in opportunities both in terms of quality and numbers. Kier take a risk averse approach to their project bidding process and are willing to turn down jobs if they cannot reduce risk to satisfactory levels. The focus on the quality of orders and their level of risk mitigation is commendable, although it does lead to them spending significantly more on bidding expenses than their nearest competitor in order to make sure they get the right deals.
The group also has a new finance director, Bev Dew, who joined from Balfour Beatty at the beginning of the year. Mr Dew filled the role vacated by Haydn Mursell, who became Kier’s chief executive last summer. Following the acquisition of the facilities management company May Gurney last year, the services division continues to perform in line with expectations and has enabled Kier to promote a broader range of services to customers, which led to several contract wins.