The building and construction sector is bucking the trend of falling profitability in British industry, a survey has found.
Information solutions company Experian found that building and construction was one of only four sectors to improve profitability in the 12 months to June 2000. The sector increased profit from 14.5% to 15.5% during the period.

The survey looked at the audited financial results of Britain's 2000 largest companies. It showed that industry overall suffered its fifth consecutive quarter of falling profit – the longest continuous decline since the recession of the 1990s.

Meanwhile, another survey has found that confidence among small and medium-sized construction firms is high.

The Bibby Financial Services survey of 300 businesses with a turnover of between £50 000 and £1m found that 42% intended to buy plant and machinery and 38% planned to hire staff. A fifth of businesses surveyed said they would be moving to larger premises.

  Adding to the good news is a profit warning analysis by Ernst & Young. This shows that construction companies issued six profit warnings in the last quarter of 2000, two fewer than the third.