Construction and civils specialist Costain (COST) is looking to keep up an impressive sequence of earnings upgrades when it reports half-year results on 24 August (Wednesday).

According to data provided by Thomson Reuters, analysts have on average maintained or increased their sales and earnings estimates for the stock over the last year, a period which included Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

Half year forecasts are not available for Costain but analysts are expecting revenue including share of joint ventures and associates to gain 5.6% for the full year, at £1.39 billion. Adjusted earnings per share is expected to show similar progress, up 5.6% at 25.1p for the 12 months to 31 December 2016.

Following full-year results published in March, analysts at Liberum said Costain's exposure to infrastructure markets, its blue chip customer base and high level of repeat business are all positive points for the stock.

Bearish factors include poor cash conversion, reliance on a few large contracts as well as volatility in divisional profits.

In a trading update following Brexit, Costain's board reported performance in 2016 was unlikely to be impacted too much.

'Trading during the first half has been strong and the Group is on course to deliver a result for the year in line with the Board's expectations,' said chief executive Andrew Wyllie on 30 June.

'The group has maintained its record order book which, at £3.9 billion, is also over 5% higher than the £3.7 billion recorded at 30 June 2015.

'Repeat orders continue to represent more than 90% of the order book, reflecting the strength of Costain's long term relationships with its customers.

'The group also has a preferred bidder position of over £400 million and tendering levels remain high.'

Costain also completed the acquisition of traffic monitoring and management specialist SSL for £17 million on 6 July. In the year to 31 March, SSL generated revenue of £15.1 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £2.0 million.

Issue Date: 23 Aug 2016