Construction company Carillion has won new and probable orders this year worth an estimated 650m pounds.
The group said it has strengthened its position in the Middle East, securing probable orders worth about £210m for projects in Oman, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.
New and probable orders worth some £280m in support services were also achieved including facilities management contracts in the UK and Canada, a highways maintenance contract in Canada and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) contracts in the UK.
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In construction services, excluding the Middle East, the company received orders worth approximately £160m, for long-term public and private sector customers.
"Although markets remain challenging, we have made a good start to the year in terms of new orders and probable orders and I am particularly pleased with our progress in the Middle East and in the ECO market," said Chief Executive, Richard Howson.
"We have also remained selective in terms of the contracts for which we bid in order to support margins, by focusing on contracts where we can use the breadth of our skills and the scale of our resources to differentiate our offering."
The announcement came alongside the company's results for the year to December 31st, 2012, during which profit before tax jumped 26% to £179.5m despite revenues falling 13% to £4.4bn from £5.1bn a year earlier.
The firm said it benefited from its decision to downsize its construction business and bid selectively for work. This in turn caused a slump in turnover but saw operating margin rise from 3.1% to an industry-beating 5.6%.
Philip Rogerson, Carillion Chairman, said: "Carillion has continued to deliver a robust performance, with underlying earnings per share slightly ahead of the market consensus forecast.
"Having rescaled our UK construction activities, we have also further improved the risk profile and the overall quality of our business."
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