Sharp rise in profits and asset values as John Laing Group's share price jumps

Sebastian McCarthy
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John Laing Group's sharp profit rise was largely due to the firm selling its stake in the Intercity Express Programme (Source: Getty)

Infrastructure investor John Laing Group’s share price climbed more than eight per cent in early morning trading, as the firm posted a rise in both net asset value (NAV) and profits for the first half of 2018.

The FTSE 250 company’s NAV hit £1.51bn by the end of June, compared with £1.12bn in December last year, as NAV per share rose from 281p to 307p over the same time period.

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While​ NAV per share growth is typically considered as the key measure of success for investment firms like John Laing Group, the firm also reported that pre-tax profits grew to £174.3m in the first six months of 2018, rising from £36.6m in the same period last year.

However, the company said that the sharp rise in profits comes on the back of the firm selling its stake in the Intercity Express Programme, which was a "significant contributor" to the firm's performance.

In May John Laing Group sold its remaining 15 per cent investment in the programme, which was part of a project to replace old trains on the East Coast and Great Western main lines.

John Laing Group, which invests in greenfield infrastructure and then manages the investments through their construction phase, has investment commitments across Europe, North Africa and the Asia Pacific.

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Olivier Brousse, John Laing Group's chief executive, said he was "pleased" with the firm’s performance as the "pipeline of opportunities continues to growth, whilst our exposure to the UK market continues to reduce".

Brousse added: "The recent reorganisation around our three regions will ensure scalability of our growth and cost base while reinforcing local presence. We are confident about our business model and our future performance."