Pre-tax profit at UK piling contractor Roger Bullivant has increased 45% from £2.3m to £3.4m, but the company warned that the credit crunch had started to take its toll.

Turnover in the year to 28 October 2007 was also up – from £112.6m to £127.9m.

The company said: “Recently the company has felt the effects of the current downturn in the economy, which appears to have especially hit the construction industry.”

Kevin Cammack, an analyst at Kaupthing, said it was a bad sign for the rest of the industry.

He said: “This is a more poignant observation, since piling work is essentially at the very front end of the construction work cycle – in short the best early warning mechanism.”