Construction giant Kier Group have reported strong interim results in which the firm grew sales by 11% to £1.583bn.
The firm which has offices across the North East including in Hebburn and Killingworth, also posted underlying operating profit of £44.2m for the six months to 31 December 2014, in line with the prior year’s £44.4m.
The business, which employs over 470 people across the region, is responsible for the delivery of a number of landmark projects, including the £100m regeneration of the former Swan Hunter shipyard in Wallsend and the £12m Motel One hotel in the centre of Newcastle.
Kier is also responsible for the construction of commercial, housing, health and education projects throughout the North East, including seven new schools totalling £63m in Hartlepool, Sunderland, Stockton-on-Tees, and Redcar and Cleveland.
Through the P21+ NHS framework, the company is rebuilding a new £18.8m infirmary for Berwick and delivering £40m of healthcare facilities for the Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust, including an £8.3m autism unit in Morpeth.
It is also preferred bidder for the £18m project to build 418 student bedrooms at Sheraton Park in Durham for Alumno Developments.
Kier highlighted a robust future pipeline of work with Kier Construction boasting an improved order book of £2.6bn which is now 100% secured for 2015.
Meanwhile, the Kier Services order book stands at £3.9bn, which is also now fully secured for the year.
The property development pipeline sits at more than £1bn and the group has a strong forward sales position in the residential division.
Kier Group plc chief executive, Haydn Mursell said: “I am pleased to announce a good set of results, once again reflecting Kier’s ability to deliver consistently whilst continuing to invest for medium-term growth.
“Significant positions on key frameworks, a disciplined approach to new work and an improving economy, position us well for the remainder of 2015 and over the medium term. A further increase in the interim dividend reflects our confidence in the future. We remain on course to meet the Board’s expectations for the full year.”