Strong growth in the firm’s London fit-out division boosts turnover in the first half

ISG saw its turnover grow by 31% in the first six months of its financial year, covering the six months to 31 December 2010.

Its turnover grew to £635m in the first half, compared to £483m a year earlier. Its profit before tax increased by a massive 73%, ending the half at £4.5m, compared to £2.6m in 2009.

Turnover in the firm’s fit-out division increased by 39%, to £193m in the first half, compared to £139m a year earlier.

But this turnover growth came at a cost as competition in the sector reduced margins considerably. Margins in the division fell to 1.7%, compared to 2.7% in 2009.

ISG saw revenue in its construction division remain relatively static, at £248m, compared to £244m and its reliance on the public sector for work has also reduced.

In the last six months of 2009 the public sector represented 66% of its work in the division but this fell to 49% in the last six months of 2009. The construction business’ order book was virtually unchanged, at £408m.

Another bright spot was the food retail division, which has been boosted by work from the UK’s largest supermarket chains, such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer.

ISG also won its first ever place on a framework for Morrisons. Revenue in the food retail division more than doubled, to £107m.

Commenting on the results, ISG chief executive David Lawther said: “This is a strong performance, especially in the UK. We expect to see a more complete recovery of the London fit out market as we move through 2012.

“Our blue chip client base will go on providing demand outside the UK. We are emerging from the recession in good health with strong finances, diverse revenue streams and market leading positions in commercial office fit out, food retail and retail banking.

“We will continue to target growth both organically and via acquisition.”