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NCE Live News Updates: 29 April 2013 Balfour Beatty profit woes

Welcome to the first of NCE’s new live updates of the key stories of the day as they happen. For more on this week’s key stories keep checking the magazine, online or NCE’s iPad edition, available to download from the App Store.

15:34: Transport for London has played down urgent repairs needed to the tunnel lining on the Jubilee Line. The line will close for up to 30 days over the next two years while repairs are carried out. London Underground said the cause of deterioration is “complex”, but that the localised ground conditions and very poor soil condition are factors.

“All railways require a programme of maintenance and we will soon be carrying out work on the tunnel lining on a section of the Jubilee line,” said London Underground programme director Stuart Harvey. “This is part of ongoing maintenance and, due to the nature of the work, some closures during weekends will unfortunately be required between Finchley Road and Waterloo. We will be doing as much of the work as possible overnight, however in some cases we need to carry on beyond normal overnight engineering hours and normal weekend services will not be able to operate.”

The first closure is scheduled for Sunday 16 June.

14.52: Balfour Beatty UK construction boss Mike Peaseland has demoted back down to take charge of regional operations following the news that Group chief executive Andrew McNaughton is to take personal charge of UK construction.

12.35: Balfour Beatty has revised down its profit expectations by £50M due to difficulty with its UK construction business.

Last November the firm warned of a difficult year ahead, though it insists its balance sheet is still strong.

“The new outlook suggests UK construction operating profit could be around break-even point in 2013,” an analyst statement from Bank of America Merrill Lynch said. This indicates the original projected profit for the UK construction business was around £50M.

It goes on to say that a £50M reduction in operating profit would imply a fall in projected profit of around 20% from the consensus pre-tax profit of £255-260M for the business as a whole.

The contractor’s result for quarter one of 2013 is due to be published next month.

9.30am: MPs have criticised Treasury body Infrastructure UK’s National Infrastructure Plan. The Public Accounts Committee today published a report that called it simply a list of projects, not a “real plan with a
strategic vision and clear priorities”.

Network Rail has announced that engineering renewal work on the Selby swing-bridge has been delayed by the Hatfield Colliery slip.

The work was scheduled for the August bank holiday weekend, but has been delayed to reduce disruption to rail services while repair work is carried out on the line damaged by the landslip.

Network rail has not said when works will restart, but 12 weeks’ notice will be given to passengers before it starts.

More on the landslip here.

EdF energy has signed a joint statement of cooperation with the state-owned China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Company (CGNPC).

The agreement underlines the firms’ commitment to construct and start operations on two reactors in Taishan, China. It will also “set the stage” for development of future reactors.

A little more on EdF and Taishan here.

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