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Costain confident in face of spending cuts

MAJOR PROJECTS and long term framework deals should help Costain through a downturn in transport spending over the next three years, chief executive Stuart Doughty said last week.

He said he expected public spending on transport projects to fall because of the government's commitment to increase rail maintenance spending (NCE 15 July).

'But we have got enough work to carry us through, ' he said.

Doughty was speaking as Costain published results for the first six months of 2004.

These showed turnover had increased to £324M from £293M in the first half of 2003.

Pre-tax profits were £6.4M, up from £5.2M.

Costain is currently working on phase one of the King's Cross Underground station upgrade. It is also part of the contracting joint venture for the A303 Stonehenge tunnel, awaiting planning permission.

In addition, Costain has two five year framework contracts with Yorkshire Water, worth a total of £35M a year as well as a £40M a year five year framework with Thames Water.

Costain's only loss making activity in the first half was its international engineering and construction division. This made a £400,000 half year loss after a surge in invitations to tender followed the formation of a joint venture with China Harbour.

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