Balfour Beatty warns 12,000 jobs at risk

Company has contacted all its UK construction employees.

Balfour Beatty warns 12,000 jobs at risk
A Balfour Beatty construction employee in East London. The company is expected to lay off thousands of UK employees. Credit: Getty Images

Balfour Beatty has told it 12,000-strong UK construction staff that their jobs are at risk, as the country's largest contractor is expected to cut thousands of jobs in the wake of a slowing in the building industry, construction magazine Building reported Wednesday.

The cuts come as the construction giant seeks to streamline its UK operations. Balfour Beatty Construction, Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering, Mansell and Balfour Beatty Engineering Services are all likely see cuts.

Balfour has not said how many employees will lose their jobs.

The restructuring is intended "to align the resources of Balfour Beatty's Construction Services UK business to current and future market conditions." In its 2011 Annual Report, released earlier this week, the company said:

To achieve further growth we are working to develop our position in new geographies and resource-rich economies such as Brazil, India, Australia and Canada, and we are intensifying our focus on high-growth sectors such as power, rail, mining and transportation.

India and Brazil...represent larger infrastructure markets than the UK, [and] are allowing private capital to play a growing role in infrastructure provision.

Balfour employs 50,000 people in more than 80 countries.

The FTSE 250 company was involved in the Olympic Aquatics Centre, and is working on Blackfriars Bridge. New construction contracts are expected to decline post Olympics.

Balfour turned a pre-tax profit of £334m in 2011, up 9 per cent from a year earlier.

Shares in Balfour fell steadily throughout the morning, shedding 3 per cent by late morning.