Ten percent profit rise at Galliford Try down to acquisition of Chartdale Homes and healthy New Year housing sales.

Galliford Try has posted a 10% increase in pre-tax profit for the first half and put the rise down to its housebuilding business.

The firm reported a pre-tax profit of £14.0m, up from £12.7m last year, on turnover up 7% to £372m.

Operating profit for the group's housebuilding operation stood at £13.9m, a margin of 14% on sales of £98m.

The half year was marked by the £67m acquisition of Chartdale Homes. The firm also said that sales rates for the first part of 2006 have been "significantly better than the latter part of 2005".

In its construction division, Galliford Try reported operating profit of £5.6m on revenues of £273m.

It cited the financial close of the £192m Northamptonshire schools PFI and a £70m frameword deal on infrastructure work for Anglian Water as highlights of the first half.

Chairman David Calverley said: "I am delighted to report another record set of first-half results.

"Our construction profit margin of 2% clearly demonstrates our ability to deliver profitable growth from a consistent focus on selected work in key markets.

"The results also reflect a good performance from our housebuilding business despite a tough market, and the acquisition of Chartdale represents a significant contribution towards our expansion objectives."