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Morgan turnover exceeds £1 billion

TURNOVER at Morgan Sindall burst through the £1 billion barrier for the first time but more losses at its regional construction arm Bluestone saw profits in 2002 fall £5 million.

Morgan Sindall had told the City problems at Bluestone would be capped at £4 million but these went up a further £1 million in the second half.

Executive chairman John Morgan said: 'Turnover at Bluestone was £13 million less than anticipated which had an effect.'

Group pre-tax profits for the year ending December dropped from £20.7 million to £15.5 million. Turnover went up nearly £130 million to £1.03 billion.

Mr Morgan added its Lovell affordable housing arm is now targeting more PFI projects. He said: 'These are coming off the block quicker and bid costs are going down.'

Lovell's order book has shot up £300 million to £565 million.

And Mr Morgan revealed the group's fit-out division is weathering the downturn in City office development well. He admitted:

'We've learned a lot from the last recession.' This has seen it take on more government work and target jobs elsewhere such as the Midlands.

Profit at its civils business, Morgan Est, more than doubled to £6.5 million and Mr Morgan said: 'We've exceeded expectations here.'