* Revenue growth in N America to be slower than last two
years - CEO
* 2012 pretax profit 43.5 mln stg vs 21.9 mln stg last year
* Revenue up 14 pct to 1.32 billion stg
By Abhirup Roy
March 4 British construction company Keller
Group Plc's full-year profit nearly doubled as home
building picked up in the United States, but the company said it
expected spending cuts to slow down growth in the key market.
There is uncertainty in the U.S. construction market as a
second round of budget cuts, or "sequestration", hit the
country's economy last week.
"I would not expect the revenue growth (in North America) to
be as strong as it was in 2012 or 2011," Keller Chief Executive
Justin Atkinson said.
Revenue from the company's North American business, which
accounted for a little less than half of Keller's 2012 revenue,
increased 23.5 percent last year and 10.8 percent in 2011.
Keller's profit before tax jumped to 43.5 million pounds
($65.3 million) in 2012 from 21.9 million pounds a year earlier.
Revenue increased 14 percent to 1.32 billion pounds. Revenue
from its North American business rose to 581.9 million pounds
from 471.1 million a year earlier.
Spending on private residential projects in the United
States increased 2.2 percent in December, a reflection of the
country's improving housing market.
Revenue from EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) fell to
358.6 million pounds from 384.8 million, while operating margin
slipped to 0.6 percent from 2.2 percent.
Atkinson said he expected the European business to "continue
to struggle", hurt by austerity measures by several governments.
Keller's shares, which have risen about 80 percent in the
past year, were up 1.8 percent at 759.5 pence on the London
Stock Exchange at 1219 GMT.