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J Murphy sees profits rise £5m despite pension costs

FINANCE

JOHN Murphy has given himself a 50 per cent pay rise after the civils contractor he founded and still chairs pushed up profits by over a quarter.

Mr Murphy's pay packet bounded up £250,000 to £750,000 in 2004 as pre-tax profits at J Murphy & Sons surged £5 million to £13.5 million, despite rising pension costs.

The firm said: 'The results reflect the group's policies of maintaining the highest possible service to its clients in established areas of operation on individual areas of growth within the industry.

'The group is well placed to continue to use its resources in an efficient manner during the current trading conditions and onwards.' Operating profits have ballooned £4.4 million to £12.1 million as the firm dug out an £18.9 million rise in turnover to £243.1 million.

All but £24.5 million of this total came from the UK.

Murphy was forced to inject £2.5 million into its defined benefit pension last August ? two years after having to put in another £3.3 million to cope with an escalating deficit.

Last October, Murphy, which employs more than 2,700 people, joined Edmund Nuttall and Shepherd in testing a new pension set up by construction industry benefits provider B&CE.