Increased focus on housing and SME firms pays dividends for AIM Company of the Year.

Housing expert Connaught has increased pre-tax profit by 30% following its decision to focus on the housing and SME sectors.

During the financial year ending 31 August 2004 the group withdrew from the corporate sector and purchased housing maintenance companies in Wales and Scotland to extend its housing reach across mainland UK.

Connaught made £5.8m pre-tax profit on a turnover of £200m and has an order book of £1.1bn. It also raised dividends by 5% to 8.1p.

Chairman Tim Ross said: “We are now focused on two high groth markets and with a record order book, high earnings’ visibility and a strengthened management team, Connaught is in an excellent position. I look forward with great confidence and expect our strong growth to continue.”

Connaught acquired two heating Welsh companies Gas Care and BST for £1.6m in 2004, and Scottish maintenance services business Maginnis for £2.5m.

Connaught was named AIM Company of the Year in 2004.