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Decent Homes spending boosts Connaught

Social housing contractor Connaught increased profits by 27 per cent in the year ended August 31 2005, driven by the Government's Decent Homes initiative to upgrade all council homes to an acceptable standard by 2010.
Government spending underpinned the social housing market which enjoyed considerable growth in 2005, Connaught said.

Group pre-tax profits before exceptional items rose to £9.2 million against £7.2 million in the previous year and turnover leapt 20 per cent to £240 million from £200 million in 2004.

Connaught chairman Tim Ross said; 'The last year has been transformational for Connaught, The group is now in its strongest position since being admitted to the Alternative Investment Market seven years ago.'

'So far, less than 40 per cent of the available decent homes contracts have been awarded in the UK, and we believe we are well placed to continue to grow our share in this area.'

Analysts have estimated that capital building and maintenance expenditure in the UK is worth £150 billion over the next 15 years averaging around £10 billion a year.

Connaught has two businesses, social housing and SME services. Social Housing accounts for 85 per cent of group turnover and its order book is made of 88 partnership contracts. Contracts let under the Decent Homes initiative make up 75 per cent of revenue from social housing.

Operating profits in the division increased 32 per cent to £9.4 million up from £7.1 million in 2004 and turnover rose 22 per cent to £2.4 million from £167 million in the previous 12 months.

The company said it had achieve a record order book worth £1.5 billion compared to £1.1 billion at the same stage a year ago.

Social housing deals include Sandwell Homes worth £80 million, a £70 million scheme for Wirral Partnership Homes, and a £72 million scheme for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

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