Carillion increased pre-tax profit by 17% to £59m in the six months to 30 June and said it was hopeful government outsourcing work would help boost its numbers in future.

Turnover at the support services company dropped from £2.8bn to £2.5bn over the period, which it put down to a focus on margins rather than the top line, as well as the disposal of PPP equity and “non-core businesses”.

It said its support services business in the UK was “well positioned” to benefit up to 2013 from the government’s drive to cut public sector running costs by 25%, as announced in the emergency budget in June.

It said the overall outlook was positive given its move away from construction to support services.

In the Middle East, the company aims to double turnover to about £1bn over the next three to five years.