Friday, January 23, 2015

Balfour’s troubles nearing end, despite the latest £70m profit warning

“An expected cut in dividend also won’t please shareholders, with more details to come in the firm’s full-year results in March, when it will reveal its second successive pre-tax loss.
On the other hand, Balfour Beatty doesn’t seem to be struggling to win clients’ faith. Its appointment to Scape’s latest framework, worth up to £1.5bn, is proof of that.”

Writes one of the army of analyst that tries keeping up with Balfour Beatty’s shenanigans.

I parted with BB in mid-2013 and by the end of 2014 I almost totally lost interest in the largest UK construction contractor. I have since also stopped expecting for it to fatally fall on its own sward of historic dodgy activities and I got on with my own mundane life instead.

Yet, BB keeps on popping up in headlines of Construction related news, daily alternating between the good and the bad.

Today, a ‘what if’ thought crossed my mind as I rolled over the multitude of BB banners.
What if one of them said something like this:

Balfour Beatty figured out a way to end all its troubles!
The reconditioned management of the deeply troubled Construction Company has unveiled its revolutionary idea that will fix all its historic and more recent difficulties.
BB are going Paper Free in all their activities. This approach has benefitted many other industries before and BB is pleased to be the true pioneer of the industry to recognise and first implement it within construction.

Starting immediately. Including all of their construction sites and involving every staff member, all the employees of the company.
To ensure this approach – destined to revolutionise the global construction industry is trademark protected all the legal work has already been completed in the critical geographical markets including registering its name with the relevant authorities:
BB Paper Free by Decree, BB-PF-BD in short.
The historic moment of the Decree becoming live is being celebrated by simultaneous public burning of all remaining paper-matter on 100 BB construction sites located all over the globe, involving the highest of local dignitaries as first-match-lighters.

… and the story could go on – mentioning hard hats and wiz-wests and an array of digital gizmos that BB had already granted with compatibility certificates. A subheading could describe how the BB-PF-BD academy has been churning out PF-enabled graduates by the hundreds since its inception a couple of months ago, biggest campus being currently established in the UAE (why not?).
Of course I know there is a fat chance for anything like this to happen any time soon, even on a relatively, small scale – let alone under the sponsorship of a big beast like BB.

To keep up a bit of hope, of a better (paper free?) construction industry at least for the sake of future generations, I re-watched the video my daughter made for me when I had my pretend –‘show down’ with the mischievous Balfour Beatty some year and a half ago: