East Anglia: Morgan Sindall on course to meet expectations

CONSTRUCTION and infrastructure services group Morgan Sindall said today it remained on track to meet its expectations for 2012.

In an update ahead of its first half results, due out on August 6, the group said that, despite the continuation of competitive trading conditions across its markets, its forward order book was “broadly in line” with the start of the year at �3.2billion.

And the group, whose Morgan Sindall construction and infrastructure arm and Lovell affordable housing business both have offices in East Anglia, said its performance during the first half had been “satisfactory”.

The construction and infrastructure business was trading in line with expectations although it continued to encounter margin pressure as a result of the highly competitive market, which was expected to persist for some time.

After a positive start to the year in affordable housing, the withdrawal of the stamp duty holiday, coupled with ongoing constraint on mortgage availability, had weighed down on the first time buyers’ market resulting in volumes being similar to 2011, Morgan Sindall said.

With future growth expected to be driven by mixed-tenure regeneration, the division was investing in a growing portfolio of schemes, particularly more complex land-swaps, to overcome the lack of grant funding for social housing. “Planned and response maintenance opportunities remain reasonably healthy but competitive”, it added.

“Overall we have had a satisfactory first half of 2012,” said the group. “Whilst we continue to experience challenging market conditions, we are confident that our continued investment in long-term regeneration projects and focus on growth infrastructure sectors will ensure we remain well positioned to succeed in the current competitive market place.”