Growth in support services masks declining construction business

Half-year pre tax profits at contractor and support services giant Interserve rose by 10% in the six months to June, the firm reported today.

Interserve said in a statement that profits had risen to £33m on the back of a 1.7% rise in revenues to £928m.

However, the improved results were largely due to growth in its public sector support services business, where profits were up 76%, with construction revenues and profits falling back.

The company said construction revenues for the first half fell by 5.5% to £484.1m, with profit down 14.5% to £20.1m.

The firm said the construction performance was nevertheless “very good” against a “challenging backdrop.”

Chief Executive Adrian Ringrose said: “Interserve has performed well, delivering headline profit growth despite challenging market conditions. Support Services generated strong growth which, accompanied by a robust performance from Construction, more than offset the ongoing cyclical pressures in Equipment Services.”