Support services group White Young Green was hot on the acquisition trail in the second half of the year to 30 June 2004 – and drove pre-tax profit up 20% to £6.9m in the process.

The company made seven acquisitions in the past six months, including project manager IMC Consulting, through which WYG is hoping to push international growth.

Turnover rose 17% to £89.9m.

Chairman Gareth Cooper, who is standing down at the annual general meeting in November, said: “We expect that public sector investment in health, education, law and order and transportation will continue at a high rate, and detect some welcome recovery in private sector markets including retail, residential, commercial development and financial services.”

WYG’s order book was boosted by 47% to a record £200m, mainly as a result of public sector work for the Home Office, the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the Scottish Office.

John Purvis, chief executive, said: “The recent acquisition activity and a continued focus on underlying organic growth has provided a platform from which to deliver enhanced growth in future years.”

However, he said that, despite the growth, there was much more to do as new markets were developing and others were yet to reach full maturity.

Cooper will be replaced by non-executive director Peter Wood after the AGM.