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Keller aims to expand into Eastern Europe

FINANCE

UK GROUND engineering firm Keller is looking to push into Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

A strong US performance helped lift pre-tax profits in the first half of this year by £4.4 million to £15.6 million on £335 million turnover.

Chief executive Justin Atkinson said: 'We see opportunities in Eastern Europe, particularly Poland.' In the UK, a weak piling market hit the firm's geotechnical division and social housing arm Makers also suffered.

Mr Atkinson added: 'Makers found that the London boroughs they work in were being hit by reorganisation but I expect work to come back there in the second half.' Turnover fell £8.6 million to £46.2 million but Keller did trade in the black after losing £205,000 a year ago, due mainly to Makers.