Balfour Beatty
Balfour Beatty has rejected talks with Carillion over a merger Reuters

Construction firm Balfour Beatty has rejected a revised merger proposal from Carillion, whilst reporting a huge decline in six-monthly earnings figures.

Balfour Beatty recently terminated the original £3bn (€3.8bn, $5bn) merger talks with Carillion after a disagreement over the terms of the deal.

Balfour Beatty said in a statement: "While the board is mindful of the synergies that might be achieved through a combination with Carillion, the board has concluded that there are a number of significant risks many of which cannot be mitigated," it said in a statement.

The deal breaker in this case centres on Balfour Beatty's US consultancy division, Parsons Brinckerhoff, which is in the process of being sold, but which Carillion insists should remain part of the enlarged group.

Balfour Beatty said the sale of Parsons Brinckeroff is now "well advanced".

The announcement coincides with the release of Balfour Beatty's first half results in which it reported a 53% decline in underlying pre-tax profits, dropping to £22m from £47m.

Balfour Beatty, executive chairman Steve Marshall, said in statement: "Our first-half trading and financial performance is in line with our most recent trading update.

"Whilst our first-half performance has been significantly impacted by recent UK engineering services contract write-downs, the other parts of the group have continued to perform well."