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Highways and water boost May Gurney's H1

May Gurney has reported a strong performance in the six months to September 2011 on the back of highways maintenance work and water contracts.

Posting a trading update to the Stock Exchange, the outsourcing firm said an increase in highways maintenance on the back of new government funding, activity in AMP5-related contracts and the successful integration of Turriff, had all contributed to a strong half.

It specified two new long-term contracts, including a seven-year, £96m Bristol City Council waste collection, street cleansing and winter maintenance contract and a 14-year  £126m Cheshire West and Chester Council waste and recycling contract.

The company said Turriff has been fully integrated, providing access to the UK’s £1.8 billion gas market “as well as a platform to deliver growth in the Scottish market”.

The group now expects to perform ahead of current market expectations for the year ending 31 March 2012, with an order book of £1.5 billionand a pipeline in excess of  £4 billion.

Chief executive Philip Fellowes-Prynne said:  “During the first six months of the current financial year, we have continued to build on our strong performance in 2010/11 and have grown our forward order book to £1.5bn.”

The company said the support services market remains competitive as clients seek to drive more value from their front-line services, while demanding innovation from their outsourcing partners. The firm said it is seeing more clients looking to work together to deliver shared services across the public and regulated markets.

The firm added: “Our long experience of collaborative working, together with our unique geographic footprint and integrated operational resources, means that we are well-placed to support this shift. “

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