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Civil engineering in the news - Wednesday 19 November

The task facing French power company EDF when it takes over British Energy was underlined yesterday when the UK nuclear generator unveiled a fall in profits due to problems at some of its ageing reactors...

...BE's first half profits tumbled 50% to 257M pre-tax, after the company was forced to close its Hartlepool and Heysham 1 power stations for maintenance and repairs - The Daily Telegraph

Barratt Developments, the housebuilder, has called on the Government to increase the number of private homes bought by social housing groups in order to support the ailing property market - The Daily Telegraph

An independent review of Britain's water industry has called for moves to encourage competition in the sector. In its interim report, the Cave review argues for the number of non-domestic customers able to choose their supplier to be increased in two stages to about 162,000 organisations in England and Wales – The Guardian

The country should press ahead with building a new generation of atomic power stations to suck in investment and create jobs, British Energy said yesterday. The company, which runs most of Britain’s fleet of reactors and which reported a 50% slump in profits yesterday, has held talks with local communities around four possible sites – The Guardian

BAA, which owns airports including Heathrow, Gatwick and Glasgow, reported an increase in revenue of 15% to £1.9bn for the nine months to September 30, but said that trading conditions were expected to remain difficult into next year. Revenue at the company's London airports - Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted - rose 16% to £1.72M. Capital investment stood at £767M, 86% of the total group expenditure - The Times

Wolseley, the building and plumbing materials supplier, will make 2,000 British workers redundant in the next few months. Chip Hornby, the chief executive, said yesterday, as he announced the job losses, that he could not rule out making further cuts. Wolseley has already shed 12,500 jobs worldwide since August 2007 - about 18% of its workforce - including 1,000 in the UK - The Times

Tata Steel is aiming to triple profit margins at Corus over five years in spite of the battering its sector is suffering from the downturn in the global economy. B. Muthuraman, chief executive of the world’s fifth-biggest steelmaker, said the target could be reached, partly by improving manufacturing procedures in its European plants – The Financial Times

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