Pre-tax profit at social housing contractor Connaught fell 13% to £10.7m in the six months to the end of February as it was hit by £10m of restructuring and acquisition costs

However, turnover at the group, which refurbishes and maintains social housing, rose 17% to £355m on the same period last year, and profit before exceptional costs was up by a fifth to £20.7m.

The firm had to write off £5.8m against the cost of integrating businesses it had acquired in 2009 and moves to restructure the business. In addition it had to write off a further £4.2m in goodwill from the companies it had bought.

The firm, where founder Mark Tincknell took over as chief executive in February, has since conducted a review of its major contracts designed to re-focus the business on larger, long-term opportunities. It said it had decided to exit “underperforming areas” when contracts ran out, leading to a reduction in turnover of £25m in 2010 and £40m next year.

It has also created a specialist division to target “big ticket” contracts worth more than £100m. The firm said its order book now stood at £2.9bn, with £403m of orders taken in the first six months, compared to £385m last year.

In a statement to the City, the firm said the recession provided a “once in a lifetime” opportunities for it.