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Confident Morgan heads for record

Morgan Sindall is on the way to posting record annual figures after seeing interim results reach an all time high.

The company saw revenue in the six months to June smash through the £1 billion barrier, barrelling up 48 per cent to £1.2 billion. Pre-tax profits were up 13 per cent to £28.6 million.

Executive chairman John Morgan said he was expecting 2008’s figures to surpass those of last year which saw turnover hit £2.1 billion and pre-tax profits come in at £57.6 million.

Mr Morgan admitted he had been surprised how well its fit-out arm was doing in the current market and said he expected the remaining half of the year to improve for this part of the business. Operating profit was down £900,000 to £11.5 million but margins had hit a record 5.6 per cent.

He said: “The second half is going to be stronger. We have a lot of long-standing clients and we’ve increased our market share. All we need is change, where firms decide to upgrade their offices which is where we come in.” The West End of London is holding up well, he added, but the City was suffering.

Profits at the firm’s housing arm Lovell was hit by the stricken state of the private housing market which Mr Morgan had said had meant the amount of units it was building had halved since the start of the year.

But affordable housing was still performing well while Mr Morgan said its construction and infrastructure arms were turning in strong results.

Its construction arm is doing less commercial work for developers but this didn’t prevent the arm seeing operating profits up 86 per cent to £4.1 million with infrastructure bettering this with a rise of 90 per cent to see profits hit £7.6 million.

Mr Morgan said its infrastructure arm would do well next year. He added: “It is a big growth area for us. Rail, utilities and especially tunnels.”