WSP Group - lead consultant on the £350 million project to redevelop Birmingham's New Street railway station - has notched up record results for the six months to June 30.

The group yesterday posted pretax profits up 33 per cent to £8.8 million, with turnover up 12 per cent to £169.3 million.

Total operating profit climbed 25 per cent to £10.1 million, while earnings per share rose 41 per cent, from 7.1p to 10p.

The interim dividend payment rises 14 per cent, from 2.1p to 2.4p per share.

Chairman David Turner told shareholders that results had been ahead of expectations.

"As anticipated in our trading update of July 6, the order book has continued to grow and now stands at £540 million, including many long term high quality projects.

"In relatively stable economic markets, our improving order book reflects the success of our continual penetration across many sectors justifying our strategy of geographic and skill diversification."

He added: "The growing confidence in the group's success, with improving service delivery and strong financial performance, is providing new and increasing opportunities in all our activities.

"In particular, the property segment is showing strong organic growth both at revenue and net profit margin level.

"In the UK and Sweden, where approximately 75 per cent of our total revenue is derived, WSP has performed well.

"In particular, I am pleased to report the best first halfyear performance from our business in Sweden since it was acquired in 2001.

"These businesses have won a number of high quality and long term contracts including the lead consultancy role for the redevelopment of New Street Station, Birmingham and, in Sweden, the conceptual and detailed design of the Adal Line rail link and the E18 highway."

Mr Turner also said that the group had made strong progress in the US.

Turning to the group's outlook, he said: "The market sectors and regions in which WSP operate present many growth opportunities, including the infrastructure and property developments associated with the London Olympics in 2012.

"Therefore, I believe our positioning and leadership will ensure these opportunities continue to arise to gain further market share and to support our diversified growth strategy.

"In addition to the anticipated organic growth, we will continue to identify niche acquisitions, whilst remaining alert to larger more strategic opportunities as and when they arise.

"In view of our strengthened position and the growth opportunities we have identified, I am confident that the group is well placed to continue delivering a strong financial performance and the resulting rewards to our shareholders."