Britain's wettest December in a century could herald brighter prospects for UK engineering and infrastructure stocks this year as companies bid for contracts to repair storm damage and boost the nation's flood defences.
Floods across northern England and Scotland have damaged thousands of homes and businesses, with analysts at U.S. bank Citigroup and brokerage Canaccord estimating total economic losses at more than 3 billion pounds ($4.4 billion).
If Rolls-Royce made chocolate bars, the performance of its various divisions would not be the subject of discussion at Number 10, the Treasury and the Ministry of Defence.
The fact that it makes the engines for the UK nuclear submarine fleet means that it is.
Particularly given that the next generation of nuclear submarines - due to be deployed by 2030 - is being planned by the government.
Next year, the Ministry of Defence wants to have in place the procurement process for the replacement Trident programme, called Successor.
It is likely to be overseen by a specialised government delivery body which reports to ministers.
Rolls-Royce, the defence contractor BAE Systems and engineering firm Babcock International will be leading the Successor programme.
A consortium involving a unit of Japan's Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co Ltd (TYO:7003) has won an order for a 27.8-MW biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Cramlington, northern England.
The Japanese group said Wednesday its 100% subsidiary Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC) will build the plant on a turn-key basis in a consortium with Danish boiler supplier Burmeister & Wain Energy A/S (BWE). The contract includes a 12-year operation and maintenance agreement.