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Balfour Beatty sees slightly higher annual profits, raises cash forecast

A sign of Balfour Beatty is seen at a construction site in London

(Reuters) - Balfour Beatty Plc <BALF.L> said it expects annual profit to be slightly ahead of its expectations and increased its annual cash forecast on Thursday as it sold more infrastructure assets in the second half.

The London-based company has sought to shore up cash and profitability in its home market as the infrastructure sector gets fewer contracts since the country voted to leave the European Union.

However, a survey showed last week that the pace of decline in British construction eased in November but the sector remained a long way from a return to growth on Brexit and election uncertainty.

Balfour, which has a small presence in Hong Kong, said its operations had not been impacted by the civil unrest.

The infrastructure giant now expects annual cash to be around 310 million pounds ($397.73 million), higher than the range of 280 million to 300 million pounds it forecast earlier.

Annual revenue is seen rising about 5% compared with last year, while the year-end order book is expected to be in excess of 14 billion pounds.

Shares of the company opened 4% higher on the London Stock Exchange.


(Reporting by Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)