Builder Galliford warns of no-deal Brexit hit to confidence

Builder Galliford warns of no-deal Brexit hit to confidence
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Andrew Winning(Reuters)
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(Reuters) - British builder Galliford Try reported higher first-half pretax profit on Thursday, but warned that a disorderly exit from the European Union could disrupt imports of critical materials and products and hurt consumer confidence.

Galliford Try, known for a wide range of construction projects ranging from the redevelopment of Wimbledon to hospitals and city bypasses, reported a 4 percent rise in pre-exceptional pretax profit to 84.2 million pounds, for the six months ended Dec. 31.

Higher revenue in its Partnerships and Regeneration business helped offset poor performance in its homebuilding business Linden Homes as well as in its construction business, which reported lower revenue, hurt by cautious bidding and project deferrals due to what it termed clients' "macro uncertainty".

"If the UK leaves without a deal, the biggest impact we foresee is the effect on our markets, and on Linden Homes market in particular, of a potential severe decline in consumer confidence and economic activity in general," the company said in the results statement.

Galliford Try said it was as prepared as possible for uncertainty brought on by Brexit, adding it had considered the effects on its supply chain and engaged with its suppliers.

"We have made specific arrangements where we foresee the potential for disruption to the import of critical materials and products, though noting that it is impractical to try to insulate our business entirely."

The firm, which completed construction of Aberdeen's troubled motorway bypass after one of its joint venture partner Carillion collapsed under in a mass of debt, reported 26 million pounds of exceptional costs from the project in the first half.

Average net debt was below previous guidance at 126 million pounds.

The company built 3,069 new homes, up from 2,878 last year, but reported a decline of 3.6 percent in the group's current order book to 5.4 billion pounds.

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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