Contractor Morgan Sindall has outperformed City predictions in its 2003 results, announced yesterday.
The company’s pre-tax profit was up 35% on last year to £20.9m, which was ahead of consolidated analyst expectations by £800,000. Turnover was nearly £1.14bn, itself an increase of 10% on 2002.

Executive chairman John Morgan said: “2003 was a record year. The diversity of our operations between public and private sector work and across different sectors of the economy is providing a strong foundation for growth.”

The balance of the business also changed last year. For the first time in Morgan Sindall’s history, the largest portion of profit did not come from its fit-out arm. Its housing and infrastructure divisions both generated greater profits.

In affordable housing, its operating profit was up 50%, and major contracts on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and tunnelling work at Heathrow Terminal 5 boosted infrastructure.

The construction division, Bluestone, also got back in the black, as expected after its bullish performance in the interim results. In 2002 Bluestone lost nearly £5m, but made a pre-tax profit of £600,000 last year.

Last week Morgan Sindall won a framework deal with Warwickshire council worth £5m a year.