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Costain profits up but revenues down as firm sticks to higher margin work

Contractor Costain has increased profits but seen turnover fall following a strategic decision to dump lower margin work.

Interim results for the half year ended 30 June 2011 show pre-tax profits of £10.1M up 23% on the £8.2M in the same period in 2010.

Revenue was £468.5M, down on the £533.4M earned in the same period in 2010. But the firm continues to boast a strong order book of £2.3bn, just £200M down on the £2.5bn in June 2010. Repeat order customers account for in excess of 80% of the order book.

Chairman David Allvey said that despite continuing challenging market conditions the firm saw “significant opportunity” for the continued successful implementation of its strategy and the delivery of the Board‟s ambition of doubling profit over the medium term.

The Group also continued to enjoy a strong cash position and net cash at 30 June 2011 stood at £149M, up on £134M in June 2010. Having also recently increased its total banking and bonding facilities by £90M to £435M, the firm has a large fighting fund to carry out its strategy of organic and acquisitive growth. In the last six months the firm has snapped up oil and gas consultant ClerkMaxwell and industrial support services business Promanex and it continues its search for a major consultant to boost its design capability.

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