ONWARDS MEANS UPWARDS FOR MACE

MACE, the private construction company building the Shard skyscraper (pictured above), posted a 30 per cent rise in profit to £19.3m yesterday. The builder of the London Eye and British Museum courtyard said the growth stemmed from expansion into UK infrastructure and projects in Vietnam, Africa and the Middle East. Turnover increased 18 per cent to £726m, and the company said its balance sheet remains strong. Finance director David Vaughan said he expects conditions to remain challenging this year, but added the firm was on track to become a £1bn company by 2012.