Ground engineering specialist boosted by strong performance in US divisions.

Ground engineering specialist Keller Group has reported a massive 39% rise in profits for the first half of the year, driven by record results from all four American businesses.

The group reported pre tax profits of £15.6m for the six months to 30 June 2005, up from £11.2m for the same period last year. Turnover increased by 14% to £335m from £294.1m.

Justin Atkinson, Keller chief executive, said: “This is an excellent result for the Group, particularly from North America where all four businesses have taken full advantage of the strong market conditions and are performing very well. We go into the second half with a record order book. Based on this and our very strong current trading, the Board anticipates that the Group's results for the year as a whole will be ahead of market expectations.”

In the UK, structural experts Makers’ results were held back by low volumes in social housing as the interval between winning preferred contractor status and getting on site increased. The company now has a new management team in place and a good recent order intake and the business is expected to have a better second half of year.