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Tue 14 Oct 2008 03:22 PM

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Balfour Beatty expects $1.2bn in Dubai orders

EXCLUSIVE: CEO of construction giant eyes major Gulf growth amid slowing market in UK.

Britain’s biggest builder expects to generate more than $1.2 billion in orders from Dubai in 2008 amid a slowing UK construction industry.

Balfour Beatty, the construction company helping to build facilities for the 2012 London Olympics, is already generating about 10 percent of its revenues from Dubai, CEO Ian Tyler said in an interview in Dubai on Tuesday.

“Dubai is a growing part of our business and will continue to grow notwithstanding current market conditions,” he said. “Dubai will contribute somewhere around 4.5 billion dirhams.”

Balfour Beatty said first-half profit advanced 77 percent on Aug 13, as it added more contracts in Dubai. Net income rose to 106 million pounds ($201 million), or 23.9 pence a share, from 60m pounds, or 13.9 pence, a year earlier, the London-based company said.

The contractor has already spent about $640 million this year on acquisitions in Europe and the US. It has already bagged orders in excess of $462m in Dubai in 2008.

Balfour Beatty’s Dubai turnover has grown twelvefold in the last six years and its workforce has grown from 2,000 to 16,000, according to general manager Grahame McCaig.

The company today opened a new training and development centre in Jebel Ali which will offer construction workers training in a range of site skills.

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