Social housing group Keepmoat has announced that profit rose by a quarter from £20.8m to £25.9m in 2008.

In the year to 30 September 2008, there was also a 4% increase in turnover from £260m to £271m.

David Blunt, its chief executive, said: “The interim performance reflects on an economic and financial environment that has taken many by surprise.

“Overall the business is in a healthy shape to meet all challenges from what many commentators believe to be a very difficult period ahead.”

Last week Building revealed that several private equity firms were circling the firm, in which HBOS has a stake. They include 3i, Bridgepoint and Cognetas.

It is understood they are attracted by the secure revenues of the social housing sector.