AWPR deal boosts construction giant

The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route

One of the firms picked to build the long-awaited Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route has told investors it expects to make record profits this year.

The 28-mile AWPR will link the A90 Aberdeen to Dundee road at Stonehaven and Charleston with the A90 Aberdeen to Ellon road at Blackdog to the north of the city.

Preferred contractor Connect Roads – made up of Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try and Carillion – was chosen to build the bypass earlier this year

The £745million contract includes dualling a stretch of the Aberdeen to Ellon road between Balmedie and Tipperty.

In a trading update, Galliford Try said the deal has helped put it on course to make a record profit of £95.2million this year.

The housebuilding and construction group – which trades as Morrison Construction in Scotland – has also benefited from the booming housing market across the UK.

Its construction arm now has an order book worth £1.4billion and a landbank of some 13,900 plots.

Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive, said: “The market continues to be good across all of our regions.

“We welcome the UK Government’s continuing commitment to housing provision, and the focus of the Bank of England on maintaining stability in the housing market.

“In addition the prospect of timely interest rate rises should support a sustainable market into the longer term.

We are pleased to have finished the year strongly and expect to deliver another record profit. With a solid balance sheet, minimal debt, a record landbank in housebuilding and excellent visibility of work in construction, we are starting the new financial year in a strong position, whilst recognising that challenges remain around the supply chain and converting outline planning permission into detailed consents.”

He added: “All business units are experiencing an increase in opportunities.

“During the year we were awarded a number of major projects including in Building the £48million Kelso and Newbattle High Schools and the £38million Forbury Place development in Reading.

“Infrastructure secured the major Midlands Highways Alliance framework and was also recently appointed, as part of the Connect Roads consortium, preferred bidder for the design, build, finance and operation of the £745million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.”

Work is likely to start in earnest on the AWPR in the autumn and it could be finished before the original target date of spring 2018.