This puts building and construction in fifth place in the overall rankings for UK industry, compared with 10th place in the first quarter of last year.
The report warned, however, that the growth in profitability over the past 12 months was about to end because of projects cancelled earlier this year and an over-reliance on public sector spending and housebuilding.
The survey examined the audited results of Britain's 2000 largest companies. It showed that industry overall suffered its eighth consecutive quarter of declining profit – largely as a result of the economic slowdown.
The Benchmark Index Report, commissioned by the Construction Best Practice Programme, surveyed 170 firms. It also found that the average value of orders placed by construction companies is 60% lower for a typical supplier than in other industries, implying that the industry uses more suppliers than it needs to.