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Steel orders are strong, says Severfield-Rowen

NEWS

THE ONLY quoted steelwork firm on the Stock Exchange said it still has plenty of work in the pipeline once it completes the bulk of its T5 contract next year.

Just over half of Severfield-Rowen's current £137 million order book is taken up by work at the Heathrow site.

Chief executive John Severs said it will 'break the back'of the T5 contract by the middle of next year but is already picking up big orders elsewhere.

He said: 'Of five lines at our plant in Thirsk only one is working on T5.This project hasn't taken up our capacity because we're spread in different markets.'

The firm is carrying out a number of jobs in the retail sector and has landed a £15 million deal with Australian shopping centre developer Westfield in Derby.

It is also bidding the £20 million steelwork package at the stalled White City project in west London and Mr Severs said there were signs the London office market was on its way back.

The firm is also targeting more petrochemical jobs, on which it works mainly abroad for Bechtel. But Mr Severs ruled out chasing jobs in Iraq.He said: 'I wouldn't want my lads to go there.'

He was speaking after the firm posted a sparkling set of interim results, which saw pre-tax profits leap 40 per cent to £5.25 million in the six months to June.

Operating margins edged up eight per cent to 5.5 per cent.Turnover went up £20 million to £97 million.