Despite falling global revenue, profit has increased and big projects in UK and abroad are doing well

Bovis Lend Lease’s parent company, Australian firm Lend Lease Group, said its operating profit after tax increased 17% in the first half of its financial year, covering the last six months of 2010. This increase in profits came despite its revenue dropping by a fifth, compared with the same period in 2009.

Lend Lease global revenue fell 22% to AU$4.4bn (£2.75bn) in the first six months of its financial year, compared with AU$5.6bn (£3.5bn) in the same period a year earlier. Its operating profit after tax increased to AU$220m in 2010, up from AU$188m in 2009.

Revenue for the firm’s project management and construction division, which includes the global activities of Bovis Lend Lease, dropped by 25% to £2.1bn, compared with £2.8bn during 2009. Its operations in Europe fared even worse, as revenue plummeted 42% to £538m.

Along with its results last week, Lend Lease confirmed it would drop various brand names, including the Bovis name, as previously reported by Building.

Dan Labbad, Lend Lease Europe chief executive, said: “Simplifying our branding and moving to a unified name, ’Lend Lease’, signifies an important and exciting step under our regionalised business structure. In addition to the benefits that a unified brand delivers, we will continue to provide best in class services to clients and partners.”

According to the firm, the UK market is “likely to see a progressive recovery but it will still be some time before it sees a full recovery”.

While it did not disclose the financial performance of the UK business, Steve McCann, group chief executive, said: “In Europe, despite continuing difficult conditions we have had a good profit result.

“In development, we have progressed our key projects, including signing a conditional agreement for Elephant and Castle, which is very well positioned to leverage from a cyclical recovery.”

Lend Lease management is still positive and sees the firm as well positioned to take advantage of a recovery. Commenting on the group’s future outlook, McCann said: “We are seeing some encouraging signs offshore, and are well positioned in the US and UK markets. We continue to benefit from the growth in Asia through our retail and mixed-use development platform.”