Profit at construction and support services group increases to £48m.

Interserve's expansion in the Middle East has helped it push profits up by more than 15% in results released this morning.

The construction and support services firm posted pre-tax profit of £47.9m in 2005, up 15.7% from £41.4m in 2004. Turnover grew 4.0% to £1.16bn.

Growth in outsourcing in the UK public sector also added to the growth in results. Major contracts in the year included FM services at the UCL Hospital PFI and Project Armada, a fleet accommodation centre at Devonport naval base.

Middle Eastern activities contributed £6.1m pre-tax profit to the business, up from £3.9m in 2004. Major projects included the completion of the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai and new contracts for the Wafi Raffles Hotel and the Dubai Festival City Golf Clubhouse.

Chief executive Adrian Ringrose said: "Our performance in 2005 was strong. Key drivers were the growing trend towards public sector outsourcing in the UK together with an increased level of activity in our Middle Eastern businesses enabled by timely investment in people, systems and business infrastructure.

"Overall healthy trading conditions, together with the excellent visibility of our future workload, underpin our confidence in achieving continued growth."