The listed construction group has defied the gloom currently besetting the UK building sector with a six-month trading update showing pre-tax profits of £23.5m, reflecting 45% growth on 2016’s figure.
The group, which includes developer Muse, fit-out contractor Overbury, designer Morgan Lovell and housebuilder Lovell along with the Morgan Sindall construction arm, said that strong trading throughout the first half of 2017 had been driven primarily by margin and profit growth in fit-out and by margin improvement in construction and infrastructure.
Partnership housing and urban regeneration both traded as expected, the group said. The period saw modest profit contributions from both property services and investments divisions.
The group said that the strong performance of fit-out and the size and quality of its order book, “taken together with the expected margin improvement in construction and infrastructure and the second half weighting to partnership housing” meant that 2017’s full year results will be “significantly ahead of previous expectations”.
In the North West, Morgan Sindall has won significant work at Paddington Village in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter, while Muse’s Stockport Exchange has let well. Overbury worked for Schroders on the refurbishment of Manchester’s City Tower and won the fit-out contract for media group Global at XYZ in Spinningfields. Lovell is working on a £53m development at Shady Lane, at Clayton-le-Woods.
Last week, Carillion’s share price tumbled following a surprise profit warning, while Skanska announced writedowns of around £33m on its UK projects.