Morgan Sindall quietly confident

Diverse property group Morgan Sindall gave a modest trading update to the City today, saying the order book had risen from £3.2bn to £3.6bn since the start of the year.

John Morgan, founder and executive chairman of Morgan Sindall, which has offices in Liverpool, Manchester, Salford Quays and Warrington, said: "The financial position of the group remains strong, with average cash for the year to date increasing over the level achieved for the comparable period in 2009. Overall, there have been no significant changes to the group's financial position since the publication of the annual report and accounts for the year ended 31 December 2009.

"In conclusion, we have made a positive start to 2010 and with our broad sector spread we remain well positioned to face the challenges ahead and to benefit from opportunities as they present themselves."

Overbury, the fit-out division, is enjoying improved market conditions particularly for larger projects in the professional and financial services sector.

Morgan Sindall, the construction side, has made "a good start to the year", Morgan said, with several new bits of business. However, he added there remained "uncertainty around the impact and timing of future public sector cuts in capital spending."

Lovell, the affordable housing business, has seen reservations increase by around 50% over the same period last year. "Refurbishment and new build social housing volumes in the first quarter were maintained and there has been no significant change to the division's outlook with the forward order book remaining in line with the level at the start of the year," said Morgan.

Regeneration specialist Muse Developments, remains hampered by "subdued" market conditions with low levels of occupier demand for commercial property.

Morgan added: "Nevertheless, [Muse] continues to make progress with planning on a number of its key schemes. It has traded in line with expectations since the start of the year and we continue to expect a modest profit for the year."

Morgan Sindall is due to hold its annual general meeting in London today.

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