Balfour Beatty
Balfour Beatty has issued a third profit warning of the yearReuters

Balfour Beatty's shares have plunged by over 20% in early morning trading on the back of another profit warning for the beleaguered construction firm.

Shares dropped to 177.60p, down by over 47.50p, as panicked investors looked to sell after the company said that, for the third time this year, proceeds would be lower than forecasted.

The firm said that profit would be roughly £75m lower than expected in its construction services division.

In light of this, it has appointed auditing firm KPMG "to undertake a detailed independent review of the contract portfolio within Construction Services UK."

Trading in all other divisions for Balfour Beatty remains in-line with predictions, but this didn't stop Steve Marshall, executive chairman, from expressing his dismay at the findings.

"This latest trading statement is extremely disappointing," he said.

"There has been inconsistent operational delivery across some parts of the UK construction business and that is unacceptable. Restoring consistency will take time and it has our full focus."

Andrew McNaughton stepped down from his role as chief executive of the company in May following the first profit warning, and the company has yet to find a replacement for him, with Marshall acting as interim CEO.

The company was involved in a long takeover saga, which concluded in August, with its bigger rival, Carillion, looking to purchase the firm.

Carillion's third and final offer was thought to be worth around £2bn, but Balfour Beatty rejected the offer as the former failed to address two major concerns.

One was Carillion's insistence that London-based Balfour Beatty should not sell its US consultancy division, Parsons Brinckeroff. Balfour has continued to reiterate that the deal will go ahead.

Secondly, Balfour was concerned over the risks of the deal, specifically "the strategy to significantly reduce the scale of the UK construction business when it is poised to benefit from a recovery in the market".