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

Announcing its interim results for the six months to 30 June 2005, the group said that more than half of the order book was won on a repeat business basis.

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

Stuart Doughty, Costain’s chief executive, said that the 2012 Olympics presented an opportunity to work with existing clients, although not on “headline” projects.

Shares in Costain were little affected by the results, down by 2.4% or just over 1p to 48.6p.

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

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