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Interserve boosts order book after 15pc profit rise

Interserve has reported a 15.3 per cent rise in profit with more than £500 million added to its order book.

The building maintenance group’s pre-tax profit rose to £79.9 million in the year to 31 December 2008 compared with £69.3 million last year.

Revenue increased 3.6 per cent to £1.8 billion from £1.74 billion and Interserve now has an order book worth £6.2 billion, up from £5.7 billion a year earlier.

The company’s net debt rose 7.5 per cent to £109.2 million from £101.6 million the previous year.

Chairman Lord Blackwell said: “During 2009 we expect that a robust UK public and privatised sector will offset what is likely to remain a challenging and uncertain environment for our operations exposed to the private sector.

“In the Middle East the geographical spread of our businesses and the high quality customers with whom we have worked for many years provide a strong base from which to continue our growth.

“Despite the uncertain economic backdrop, the board remains encouraged by the long-term prospects in our markets and believes that the group’s operations are well placed to deliver another year of progress in 2009.”

In a separate statement, the group announced that it has won two facilities management contracts for Ealing Council and Leeds Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and two construction projects in Dubai worth £200 million in total.