Ground engineer is buoyed by strong performance in US as interim profit hits £33m

Pre-tax profit at engineer Keller Group has rocketed 114% in the first half of the year thanks to a strong performance from its North American businesses.

Profit before tax jumped to £33.4m for the first six months to 30 June 2006 up from £15.6m for the same period last year. Operating profit was £35.7m up from £17.6m giving the company a record margin of 7.9%. Group sales for the period were up 34% at £450m.

Keller chief executive Justin Atkinson said: “'In addition to another excellent performance from our North American businesses, we can report very strong organic growth and a significant increase in margins in all our other geographic regions.”

Earlier this month, Keller acquired Australian foundations specialist Piling Contractors for an initial consideration of £9.6m. Piling Contractors had a turnover of about £20m for the year ended 30 June 2006.