Rok chairman Bob Carlton-Porter has announced record orders of £275m, including a 10-year partnership with developer South Somerset Homes for more than 1250 homes.
Carlton-Porter told shareholders at the annual meeting of the company on Monday that ROK was making progress in the social housing and maintenance sectors. He said that in addition to the South Somerset Homes agreement the company had agreed an £8m partnered arrangement with Tor Homes. Under this 10-year deal Rok will provide new-build and maintenance services.

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."