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BUSINESS LIVE: Ex-RFU chair to join ITV; Balfour Beatty boosts buyback

BUSINESS LIVE: Ex-RFU chair to join ITV; Balfour Beatty rewards investors amid soaring profits; Kremlin set to default on its debts

ITV has hired chairman of Kingfisher Andrew Cosslett to lead its board from September this year, with current chair Sir Peter Bazalgette set to retire from the broadcaster after nine years.

Cosslett, who previously served as chair of the Rugby Football Union, will be charged with guiding the broadcaster through a ‘digital acceleration’ plan and the upcoming launch of ITVX.

Infrastructure group Balfour Beatty saw underlying profit from operations of £181million in 2021, which is up from £75million in the prior year and an improvement on pre-pandemic levels.

As a result of strong performance, the firm will hand out £57million in dividends to shareholders for the year and it has boosted a recently announced share buyback programme from £100million to £150million.

Russia will soon be unable to pay its debts after the invasion of Ukraine caused its economy to tank, a leading credit ratings agency warned yesterday.

Fitch Ratings said a default from the Kremlin was ‘imminent’, meaning investors who have bought Russian government bonds could find themselves out of pocket.

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Support Services contributed the most to Balfour Beatty’s 2021 performance, adding £102million – up from £46million in the previous year.