Profit also up strongly, as group gets set to gain new chairman with replacement of Richard Benton by Bo Lerenius

Mouchel, the consulting and business services group, has announced positive interim results for the six months ended 31 January, despite the downturn.

Revenue increased by 19% to £365.6m compared with the first six months of 2007/08, with underlying operating margins up from 5.9% to 6.8%.

Pre-tax profit was up from £9.3m for the first six months of last year to £16.3m this time.

Mouchel Liverpool school
Lower Lee school, developed in a joint partnership between Mouchel and Liverpool city council

Its adjusted earnings per share were also up 24% to 13.9p, and the group said it had good visibility of future earnings, with a forward order book of £2bn and bidding pipeline of £1.9bn.

Mouchel said it had benefited from the government's “Fiscal Stimulus” initiative in highways, particularly in maintenance management, and had made good progress in extending contracts with local authority partnerships in Lincoln, Oldham and Middlesbrough.

It also announced the appointment of a new chairman, with effect from 1 May. Bo Lerenius will move up from the post of non-executive director, to replace Richard Benton who steps down after eight years in the role.