Facilities management and infrastructure group Interserve this week said that government spending, including PFI, had led to healthy figures in the first half of the year.

Deals such as the £400m South-east regional prime contract with the Ministry of Defence helped to boost pre-tax profit 23% to £20m in the six months to 30 June. Shares rose more than 2% to 350p when the results were announced on Monday.

The market was encouraged by Interserve’s strong order book of £5bn at the end of the first half, and the fact that 60% of planned revenue for next year was secured.

In the six months the company obtained two PFI contracts with a value of £230m and was selected by BAA as preferred maintenance contractor at Heathrow on a five-year contract.

Chief executive Adrian Ringrose said: “In the UK demand has been largely underpinned by public sector spending. Spending by our private sector UK clients remained stable.”

He added that about one-third of opportunities that Interserve was looking at were PFI.

Turnover fell 6% to £609m; the interim dividend rose from 4.4p a share to 4.6p.

Chairman Mike Bottjer, who announced his plans to retire in May, said that he would be succeeded by non-executive director Norman Blackwell at the end of this year.

Interserve said on Tuesday that it had been appointed preferred bidder on the Addiewell Prison PFI project in West Lothian.