Babcock International increases order book to £2bn and says that full year profits will be ahead of expectations.

Babcock International has increased its interim pre-tax profit by 17% to £21.8m. Turnover for the six months to 30 September 2005 rose 20% to £398.9m.

The City responded positively to the news. Shares increased by 11% to 203p by mid morning.

Babcock increased its order book to £2bn and experienced major contract wins in defence and rail. The company said it anticipated continued growth and said that full year results were ahead of expectations.

Chief executive Peter Rogers said: “We continue to look for new opportunities to exploit our core skills further and to continue the pattern of growth established over the last few years.”

Contract wins during the period included the management of the Ministry of Defence estate in the East of England, and the management of Network Rail’s high output equipment.