Norwest Holst has held itself up as a role model for medium-sized contractors after reporting a 50% jump in profit.
The Watford-based subsidiary of French company Vinci has announced the best results in its 75-year history. Pre-tax profit rose from £10.5m to £15.8m and turnover was up £6m to £382m.

Chief executive John Stanion said it was possible to make good returns from construction despite recent high-profile losses at Laing and Allen.

Stanion attributed his success to selectivity and repeat business.

He said Norwest Holst had moved away from competitive tendering and was targeting low-volume, high-margin specialised services such as earthmoving to oil rig fit-outs.