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Morgan Sindall propelled by affordable housing demand

Morgan Sindall benefited from strong demand for fit-out and affordable housing in 2005 and is on course to produce results towards the top end of market expectations when it reports its figures for the year ended December 31 in February next year.
Lovell, the affordable housing division, took advantage of strong demand in the sector which has seen a work boom in the past few years on the back of the Government's pledge to upgrade dilapidated council stock under its Decent Homes initiative. This is due to finish by 2010 but Lovell expects the work boom to last longer.

Fit out volumes increased thanks to improvements in the market and a further increase in the company's market share, Morgan Sindall said in the statement. New regional offices in Birmingham and Manchester performed well.

Bluestone, the contracting division, increased the volume of work it carried out through further growth in spending by the Government on health and education projects. Margins improved for the third year in a row with a larger proportion of work coming from repeat clients, negotiated work and framework deals.

Infrastructure volumes fell as expected, the company said. The division won a number of long term utility framework deals in the water and gas sectors, shifting the balance of the work it carries out from infrastructure to utilities.

The Group's forward order book stands at £2.84 billion.

By Sophie Kernon