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Costain's UK contracting operations returned to the black during the first half of the year, producing a £1M operating profit, according to results published last week.

This compared with a £3M first half operating loss in the same period of 2001.

Galliford Try's contracting division returned to profit in the six months to 30 June. The division'soperating profits were £411,000, compared with a loss of £452,000 in the same period last year. Group pre-tax profits increased from £4.9M to £18M, boosted by a strong housebuilding performance.

Contractor Mowlem reported pre-tax profit up 21% at £15M for the six months to 30 June.

The group's support services including the recently acquired cleaning specialist Pall Mall returned margins ranging from 2.9% to 3.7% while margins on construction services ranged from 1.5% to 1.7%.

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