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Galliford Try 'to double profits by 2018'

Galliford Try has announced it intends to double its profits by 2018 following record half-year results.The construction firm saw pre-tax profits increase by 18 per cent to £38.1 million; group revenue also rose by 18 per cent to £803.5 million from £678.3 million in the first half of 2013. Its housebuilding unit, Linden Homes, reported a surge in revenues of 20 per cent to £328.2 million.In its strategy to 2018, Galliford Try outlines plans to increase turnover in its housing and construction arms by 50 per cent on 2013 levels. Its housebuilding unit is to focus on well-located sites principally in the south and south-east and its increasing bias towards houses over apartments. A record landbank of 13,500 plots will support its expansion aims in this area.Galliford Try's construction margins fell to 1.4 per cent from 1.8 per cent but its order book climbed to £1.25 billion from £1.2 billion. It intends to expand its building and infrastructure business by 50 per cent, with an increase in turnover driven by an improving private sector as well as increased participation in frameworks and major projects. A new £400 million five-year unsecured bank facility will underpin the firm's growth strategy.Galliford Try chief executive Greg Fitzgerald commented: "Housing market conditions continue to improve with Linden Homes revenue rising 20 per cent and good progress is being made on our margin enhancement plan. In the first six months of the financial year we have secured a significant increase in our landbank and the land market remains generally positive." The construction firm is the latest to post robust trading figures, particularly in housebuilding. Taylor Wimpey, Bellway and Barratt Homes have all reported significant growth in housing revenue.CALA Group also announced its plans to capitalise on improved market conditions by launching two new divisions in the south-east, aiming to double the size of its business by 2017. 

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