Wide spread of work helps support servcies group counter difficult trading in engineering sector.

MITIE Group has increased its pre-tax profit 16.3% to £46.9m. The support services group also increased turnover 17.9% to £818.6m for the year ended 31 March 2005.

In the PFI market MITIE said it had signed 15 contracts in 33 schools and is preferred bidder on five further contracts. It recorded a successful year in engineering maintenance but said its engineering services arm was operating in a difficult trading climate.

It said that it would strive to improve margins but warned turnover could fall in this business as a result. Focus in engineering would be on long-term relationships such as the three-year mechanical and framework agreement it had with the University of Plymouth. MITIE identified the Schools for the Future building programme as another opportunity for growth.

MITIE said it was looking to grow through new acquisitions and organic growth in existing markets.

The Group said that 70% of budgeted revenue had been secured for 2006, and said that recent acquisitions had been successfully integrated.

Chairman David Ord said: “MITIE operate in a market that, although it is competitive, has plenty of opportunities for growth.”