Strong first half puts Interserve back on track for the full year

SUPPORT services and construction group Interserve yesterday reported half-year profit of eight per cent driven by strong performance in its British support services business.

Pre-tax profit for the firm, whose services range from cleaning Sainsbury’s supermarkets to building Jaguar a new site in Coventry, came in at £32.6m in the six months to 30 June, up from £30.1m the year before.

The support services division, which includes building maintenance and security, reported revenue growth of 11.5 per cent to £588m.

It pointed to some recent support services contract wins, with companies such as National Grid and Alliance Boots, for the increase in profits. Future workload rose to £4.7bn in the first half of this year, an increase of £200m year on year.

Interserve shouldered a 27 per cent slide in UK construction profits to £7.3m from £10m in the first half of 2011. Management admitted that the UK construction sector still faces several challenges due to lack of confidence and a lack of liquidity.

The interim dividend was up 6.7 per cent to 6.4p a share.

The stock closed up 2.47 per cent at 335.2p.