Scott Wardrop, chief executive of Eurovia UK forecast that the slowdown would likely continue until 2020 in the lead into any general election.
The tightening market knocked Eurovia’s pre-tax profits which dropped 40% to £13m last year from revenue of £501m, up 3% due to the acquisition of the 50% remaining stake in South West Highways.
Wardrop said: “Worryingly we are seeing many public clients reducing major and minor maintenance due to significant reductions in their revenue budgets, which directly affects long term asset performance.
“One leading client used the phrase ‘revenue poor but capital rich’, which typifies this situation although the capital spend in many local authorities are being reduced too, after the last two or three years of greater investment in highways renewals and improvements.”
He added: “Securing a pre-tax profit margin of 2.6% is exceptional in a year where many construction competitors posted losses.”
Wardrop said that year-end net cash remained strong although slightly down on 2017 at £48.5m.
Highways term services contractor Ringway continued its business recovery with revenue up 3% to £258m and operating margin up at 2.9%.
The average number of staff at the business remained at around 2,690.