Ground engineer reports strong performance in US but says business was slower than expected in the UK during first half.

Keller has reported double-digit growth in turnover thanks to a surge in US commercial construction activity.

In the UK the group said that business at subsidiary Makers was slower than anticipated at the start of the year, although it was trading profitably.

The group said its Continental European and overseas business was recovering well from a slow first quarter, which was caused by adverse weather conditions affecting operations, particularly in Germany and Austria. Keller said that the benefits of cost-reduction measures in Germany would be realised in the second half of the year.

In a trading statement the ground engineer said that the current order book was strong and represented four months sales.

Chief executive Justin Atkinson said: “We are currently experiencing very favourable market conditions in the US and, overall, the Board expects Keller's first half performance to be well ahead of last year's first half.”

“Looking ahead, the Board remains confident about the Group's prospects for the full year.”

Keller said it would announce its interim results on 22 August 2005.