Construction group Higgins has reported a record profit because of its workload in the South-east, despite a slowing housing market nationally.

Profit before tax was £10.5m to July, up from £10.1m the previous year. Turnover increased 12% to £231m, from £206m.

The construction arm reported a £140m turnover, a rise from £127.5m, while the housing arm has increased sales 14% to £89m.

The company has posted a profit for 13 years in a row and says this is because of the focus on the residential sector.

Paul Lewellen, the group finance director, said Higgins was “very optimistic” given the level of work in the South-east. “We are in the right market, in the right location,” he said.

While the private market had cooled, the company was active in the social and private housing sector, where there was plenty of work, he said.

Higgins is working on a £21.3m development of 176 homes in Crawley, West Sussex, and the £110m regeneration of Silwood Estate in Bermondsey, south London.

Other projects include an £80m scheme to refurbish 1,200 homes in Lewisham, south-east London and a £90m regeneration project for 1,000 homes in Stockwell, south London.

Richard Higgins, the chairman, used this week’s results to have a crack at the planning regime, saying it was “frustrating” an orderly progress of projects.