Calverley said the appointment last month of Andy Sturgess to head the construction division, and a structural review lasting until June, will bring it back into the black by the time of its annual results. Pre-tax profit is expected to be at about the same level of £400,000 that it reported in its last full-year results.
He added: "We have a fundamentally good construction business. What we failed to do was deliver results to shareholders."
Galliford Try's housebuilding division was more successful. Operating profit during the six months was £10.5m on a turnover of £72m, up from £7.9m on a turnover of £63m last year.
Calverley said he expected the housebuilding division to remain strong, as the company has reduced its exposure to the hard-hit London and high-end residential markets.