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Morgan Sindall results upbeat

Contract wins in the education and affordable housing sectors have boosted Morgan Sindall’s order book over the past six months, leaving the group confident of meeting its full year expectations.

The group's interim management statement, released today, said its forward order book had softened slightly from £4.2 billion at 30 June to £4 billion. But the company said each of its divisions was putting an increased emphasis on cash management, cost reduction and supply chain improvements.

Its construction division - which conducts about 50 per cent of its work in the education sector - has in recent months witnessed a string of successes including securing a £44 million scheme at Bideford College and a programme of works with the North Lanarkshire Council worth up to £100 million.

Morgan Sindall’s statement said a further 20 per cent of the arm’s activity was now public sector related. Chief executive Paul Smith said it was therefore “well placed to benefit from any acceleration of the Government's spending plans”.

He added: “Morgan Sindall is on track to achieve a record year in 2008 and is well placed to meet the challenges and opportunities we face in 2009 and to deliver long term sustained growth.”

Its affordable housing arm also picked up, among others, a £53 million contract with Hounslow Homes. Mr Smith said: “The Government's reiteration of its commitment to the affordable housing sector is encouraging and we continue to believe that mixed tenure regeneration will drive growth in the longer term.”

The statement said the firm remained “financially robust”, with £75 million of committed banking facilities in place – no change from Morgan Sindall’s last results report in June.