Richardson Projects, the north of England social housing contractor, boosted pre-tax profit by 44% last year from £3m to £4.3m.

In the year ended 31 August 2007, turnover rose 20% from £40.2m to £48.1m, which meant a profit margin increase of 7.5% to 9%.

The directors said the results pointed to “another successful year” and that the company predicted “significant growth” over the coming 12 months.

The company was bought by Rok for £40.5m in cash and shares, days ahead of changes to capital gains tax laws on 6 April. The changes introduced a flat rate of 18% on chargeable gains compared to a previous maximum of 10%.

The deal comprised an initial payment of £22.5m, of which £20.5m was paid in cash and the rest in shares. A further maximum of £18m will be paid over the next two years after the sell-off of Richardson’s private housing division.

The highest paid director’s pay fell by 59% over the year from £435,708 to £178,119. Meanwhile staff numbers increased from 265 to 327, and average salary fell 14% from £28,800 to £24,900.

Following the deal with Rok, Alan Richardson, the company’s founder and chairman, has agreed to remain with the business for six months to oversee the transition and senior managers signed two-year deals.