The construction group said that all divisions have contributed to progress made in a first quarter that saw construction and fit-out order books climb by 10% and 18% respectively from year-end positions.
The fit out division also has £400m of work at preferred bidder stage, meaning it is expected to deliver a result for the year “materially ahead” of its target of around £35m annual operating profit.
Total secured workload for the group at 31 March was £8.1bn, up by 8% year-on-year. The group also said that its cash position has further improved and it is now expected that the average daily net cash for the full year will be in excess of £180m.
Morgan Sindall is organised into six operating divisions: Morgan Sindall Construction, its construction and infrastructure arm, fit-out division Overbury, Morgan Sindall Property Services, housing arm Lovell Partnerships, urban regeneration specialist Muse Developments, and Morgan Sindall Investments.
These are split under two headings, construction and regeneration. The construction secured order book of £4bn is up 15% from the prior year, and up 2% from the full year; while the regeneration secured order book is £4.1bn, up 1% from the prior year but down 5% from the full year.
In February, 2020’s full year results showed a 30% drop in pre-tax profit, from £89m to £61m .
Chief executive John Morgan said: “Since the start of the year, the positive momentum across the group has continued to accelerate and with the group geared towards demand for affordable housing, urban regeneration and infrastructure and construction investment, I am excited by the significant opportunities ahead.
“Our high-quality secured workload and our operational delivery capabilities give us great confidence for the rest of the year and as such, we expect to deliver a full year performance significantly ahead of our previous expectations.”
Muse is delivering several projects across the North West, including Stockport Exchange and the New Bailey scheme in Salford as part of the English Cities Fund joint venture with Legal & General.
Q1 saw work begin on BT’s new office building at New Bailey, while the masterplan’s fifth office block, a 113,000 sq ft building designed by Make Architects was approed in February.
In March, the construction division topped out on 200,000 sq ft of pop-up studio space at The Depot, next to Liverpool’s Littlewoods Building.
News outside for the region for the group saw Lovell Partnerships selected by West Sussex County Council for a joint venture managing the development of surplus council land into new homes and commercial property. No value has yet been attributed to the arrangement.