Contractor reaps benefits of repeat business as it announces strong half-year results.

Costain has secured a £1.9bn forward order book so far in 2005, the contractor said today.

The group said that more than half of that was secured on a repeat business basis, as it announced its interim results for the six months to 30 June 2005.

Pre-tax profit rose 18.5% to £7.5m during that period, while turnover rose by little more than 2% to £345.4m.

Andrew Wyllie, who Costain named as successor to chief executive Stuart Doughty in April, will formally take over the role on 12 September.

Wyllie was poached by Costain from Taylor Woodrow, where he was the managing director of the construction business.