Construction, services and property group Kier shares were up after the firm said it remains on course to meet its expectations for the current financial year and is performing well in the current market.
Its Construction division has continued to be resiliant, the firm said, and maintained operating margins above two per cent. In the year to date the company has secured more than £400m-worth of new work and its order book of secured and probable work represents its entire forecast Construction revenue for the current financial year and 80% of its forecast Construction revenue for the 2013 financial year.
In Services, the order book continues to provide long-term visibility of revenues, delivering an expected 4.5% operating margin. In the year to date it has secured awards totally £150m.
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The Property division has maintained its targeted 15% return on capital employed, while the Home business expects to complete over 600 news properties in the year, slightly ahead of previous forecasts.
In a statement the firm said: "The group's trading performance remains in line with our expectations. In particular, our order books in Construction and Services remain robust and our net cash position remains healthy.
"The positioning of our business, with a presence on nearly 90 frameworks across the group, together with our Property division increasingly providing good quality work to our other divisions, gives us a competitive advantage and balances the trading pressures of open market opportunities.
"With our strong balance sheet, our excellent track record of delivery and our great people, we remain well placed to win new work, particularly in our chosen growth markets, to strengthen the business both now and over the medium term, which will enable us to maintain our progressive dividend policy."
The share price rose 1.82% to 1,177p by 10:29.
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