Construction group says growth in public spending and recovery of office sector helped increase pre-tax profit by 31%.

Morgan Sindall has announced an increase in pre-tax profit of 31% for the six months to 30 June 2004. The contractor said that a strong performance in the affordable housing and fit out sectors helped generate a pre-tax profit of £8.9m and a turnover of £604m.

Government investment in affordable housing had helped Morgan Sindall increase turnover in the sector by 50%. Expenditure from the government and housing associations was driving growth according to the firm, which had a £789m order book for affordable housing.

Morgan Sindall's office fit out order book had also doubled in the last year to £106m.

John Morgan, chairman, said: 'Looking forward we are well placed to take advantage of new opportunities in both the public and private sectors. We have a strong forward order book and are confident of achieving our expectations for the full year.'

Morgan Sindall stated that NHS LIFT projects were core to the division’s future and said that four schemes were either closed or at preferred bidder stage.