(Alliance News) - Galliford Try Holdings PLC on Wednesday raised its interim dividend as profit surged in the first half, while it also said it entered second half with strong momentum.

In the six months that ended December 31, the Uxbridge, England-based building and infrastructure construction company said pretax profit rose 81% to GBP13.0 million from GBP7.2 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose 21% to GBP819 million from GBP679 million.

Off the back of this, Galliford Try raised its interim dividend by 33% to 4.0 pence from 3.0p.

"I am very pleased with the group's performance in the first half of the financial year. There is strong momentum in the business and our continued excellent performance is a reflection of our disciplined strategy, committed people and long-established relationships with our supply chain and clients. The group has delivered increased revenue and divisional operating margin, as we make accelerated progress towards our strategic objectives, and we will continue to provide long-term sustainable value for our stakeholders," said Chief Executive Officer Bill Hocking.

Galliford Try said it enters the second half of the year with "strong momentum", with confidence for the financial year ending June 30 "and the longer term".

Hocking continued: "Our strong and high quality order book, predominantly in long term frameworks, provides visibility and security of future workloads and continued growth prospects well beyond the current financial year. Our performance, over the last three years, together with our excellent people and our strong balance sheet, gives us confidence to announce our updated strategy to 2030 at a capital markets event on May 23."

On December 31, Galliford Try's order book stood at GBP3.7 billion, up 5.7% from GBP3.5 billion, while cash on its balance sheet stood at GBP150 million, down 2.6% from GBP154 million.

Shares in Galliford Try were up 1.2% to 244.00 pence each in London on Wednesday afternoon.

By Greg Rosenvinge, Alliance News senior reporter

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