Construction group Morgan Sindall offered more hints of optimism from the sector after it predicted growing orders in the second half of this year.
Despite “challenging” short-term conditions, the firm said it was confident of expanding its current £3.6 billion order book, which edged lower in the first half.
Morgan’s figures follow official figures last week showing the first glimpse of recovery in the industry with an 18 per cent rise in new orders between April and June.
The group revealed the Solihull office of its Morgan Ashurst business turned over £20.5 million after landing a £3.3 million project for the Heart of Birmingham Primary Care Trust to build a new health centre at Soho Road and a £4.2 million scheme to build a new library in Oldbury.
The company saw improved office fit-out activity with many previously shelved schemes coming back out to the market, while it has also won new work with the BBC and drugs company Shire.
“These factors seem to indicate improving market conditions in the short term with a healthier pipeline of projects for 2010,” it added.
Its infrastructure services division, which works for water companies such as Severn Trent, is also bidding to land long-term deals under five-year spending plans from utilities after water regulator Ofwat’s latest decision on prices.
The firm’s construction arm meanwhile achieved a record operating profit of £5.7 million boosted by public sector spending.
The business is wary over the housing market but expects social housing refurbishment work, which made up 90 per cent of first half revenues, to remain “robust” due to a shortage of supply. It has secured housing improvement deals in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Wales.
Executive chairman John Morgan said: “While the construction industry will face challenging trading conditions in the short term, we are in good shape and will emerge from the downturn a much stronger business.
“Operationally and financially we are well set to take advantage of the opportunities for further growth that will arise in our chosen markets.”
The performance of the Morgan Ashurst office on Birmingham Business Park, Solihull, was described as “solid”.
The group has won a £13 million project to build a new breeding centre for Guide Dogs UK in Leamington Spa and recently completed work to build new living accommodation at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford as part of a £21.7 million programme of works.
Area director Dave Smith said: “Despite challenging market conditions, we remain busy and our order book for next year is looking secure with most of our work coming from public sector projects, repeat clients and long-term construction frameworks.
“The business is financially strong and well placed to take additional market share over the next 12 months as more organisations procuring construction make the flight to quality and security to reduce their risk.”
Morgan Sindall also owns affordable housing and regeneration specialist Lovell, which has its head office in Tamworth.