Carlton-Porter said that the flow in orders faltered slightly at the start of the year but had since picked up, and he expected this trend to continue. He said like-for-like turnover growth in the first quarter had risen 8% on the same period last year.
The focus on regional bespoke developments remained a priority, he said. This work is carried out by property development arm Rokeagle. as As an example of the success of the approach, Carlton-Porter cited the agreement the division had secured with Bond Pearce, a firm of solicitors, to provide 4600 m2 of office space at Temple Quay, Bristol.
Construction is also due to begin in Bodmin, Cornwall where Rok has obtained planning permission for a 5100 m2 retail scheme with an investment value of £11m, most pre-let.
Carlton-Porter said Rok's acquisition of four northern offices of collapsed contractor Ballast was starting to make a positive contribution.
He also said that he would use the next annual meeting to announce his retirement from the company. He said: "I became chairman in 1996 and will, by 2005, have served nine years. I have proposed to the board that I retire at that meeting."