Miller Group's profit has surged 142% after strong performances from its housing and construction divisions.
Miller's pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 June jumped from £3.1m last year to £7.5m this year, and turnover rose £15.9m to £281.1m. It is the ninth successive year of record interim profit growth.

Chief executive Keith Miller said the Edinburgh-based group was on track to top last year's full year pre-tax return of £20.1m.

"I think we'll be well ahead at the end of the year because all three businesses are well ahead at the interim stage," said Miller. The group's property division also increased profit.

Pre-tax profit at its housing arm went up 37%, from £5.7m to £7.8m, and the average selling price rose 20% to more than £125,000. The division's turnover increased from £85.7m to £114.1m with 869 units sold, a 6% increase on the same period last year.

Miller said the housing market had recovered well from a sluggish summer and that there was still healthy demand for its products. Forward sales by the end of August were 1803 units – 94% of the division's full-year target.

Miller's construction services business returned to profitability over the period after posting a £1.8m pre-tax profit, compared with a £1m loss for the same period last year. Construction turnover rose £7.5m to £123.2m and the order book was 19% higher at £280m.

Miller said the commercial office market was quiet but the PFI, retail and mixed-use development sectors were healthy. During the period, Miller won the £55m Mulberry Schools PFI in Tower Hamlets, London – its first such project in England.

Miller's property development business reported a 3% rise in pre-tax profit to £6.3m, which Miller said was a good performance given the weakness of the office market.

He added that the group's exposure to the office market was limited to developments in Leeds and Edinburgh, and that these would recover quickly when the sector improved.