Morgan Sindall’s ‘broad base’ holds firm

Construction and development giant Morgan Sindall Group delivered a resilient set of results for 2011, with pre-tax profit of £45.3m on increased turnover of £2.2bn.

Pre-tax profit was down slightly from £51.3m in 2010 with revenue up 6%. Earnings per share were 82.5p (2010: 92.9p), with no change to the total dividend which remained at 42.0p (2010: 42.0p).

The group said the contribution from North West bases of its divisions was strong, including fit-out firm Overbury, house builder Lovell, construction business Morgan Sindall and developer Muse.

Nationally, the group's forward order book stands at £3.4bn (2010: £3.6bn) with a growing development pipeline at Muse of £1.8bn (2010: £1.4bn), and a further £0.6bn of schemes at preferred developer stage.

During 2011, Salford Quays-based Muse added to its portfolio with a number of new major schemes including Chester, Warrington and Stockport.

On the house building side, Altrincham-based Lovell continued to win work with housing associations and local authorities to deliver affordable housing developments, as well as refurbishment, maintenance and regeneration schemes. The company's order book stands at £1.5bn (2010: £1.5bn). Live projects include a £7.3m mixed tenure development in Miles Platting, East Manchester of 53 new homes, and a £3m refurbishment of 25 terraced properties and four new houses for Plus Dane Housing in Granby, Liverpool.

Fit-out and refurbishment specialist Overbury, which has local offices at the Zenith Building, Spring Gardens, Manchester, secured projects in 2011 including an £18m, 100,000 sq ft fit-out of the University of Salford's new digital learning, teaching and research centre in the heart of Media City UK, Salford.

John Morgan, executive chairman, said: "We are pleased to report a solid set of results for 2011 in line with expectations, despite continued challenging markets. We are benefiting from being a broadly based business, offering creative, integrated solutions for increasingly complex projects, with a track record of delivery. We are focused on maximising opportunities in sectors we believe offer the most growth and reward. We continue to invest for sustainable growth in the medium-term whilst maintaining a strong balance sheet and dividend."

Shares in Morgan Sindall rose 8p to 715p by mid-morning on Tuesday, close to a 52-week high of 729p from February 2011 (LON:MGNS).

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