Morgan Sindall warns of tough times ahead

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Construction company Morgan Sindall warned today that “difficult” market conditions, which led to a 24 per cent plunge in first-half profits, are expected to continue for the rest of the year.

The group, which is behind the overhaul of Edinburgh’s Haymarket train station, said margins were coming under pressure because of tough competition in the construction and infrastructure sector.

As a result, adjusted pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of June fell to £15.4 million, from £20.3m a year earlier, despite a 2 per cent increase in revenues to £1 billion.

Chief executive John Morgan said: “The first half has seen difficult market conditions across all of our markets, with competitive pressures impacting on margins and profitability.

“Looking ahead to the second half, overall market conditions are not expected to significantly improve. The business will continue to focus on cash management and will look to improve the order book selectively, such that it is well positioned to take advantage of the growth and investment opportunities in its markets as they arise.”

Following the drop in profits, the interim dividend was held steady at 12p a share.