One of the developers behind Birmingham's £500 million showcase Arena Central project yesterday celebrated its 13th successive year of interim profits growth.
Miller Group, the country's biggest privately-owned housebuilding, property development and construction company, announced pretax earnings before exceptionals of £37.5 million - a rise of 29 per cent.
The firm said housing profits rose 29 per cent to £47.1 million, while property profits doubled to £10.2 million.
The construction order book stood at a record £330 million. The interim dividend payment climbs 25 per cent, from 11.4p to 14.2p a share.
Group chief executive Keith Miller said: "The group has delivered another set of excellent results. All three businesses increased profits.
"This impressive performance is our 13th successive year of interim profit growth."
Chairman Bob Spiers said: "Growth in housing was driven principally by the contribution from the acquisition of Fairclough Homes last year, whilst in property we have benefited from an active investment market in the UK and Europe.
"In construction, with market conditions steady, we delivered increased profits, a significant cash inflow and raised the order book."
Mr Spiers said the Fairclough business is fully integrated with Miller Homes, giving a boost to operations in Yorkshire, the Northwest and the Midlands, where it has housing projects in Worcester, Solihull, Great Barr, Cannock and Wolverhampton.
Robert Hepwood, director and general manager for Miller Homes West Midlands, said: "We have had an excellent year to date with a record number of half-year completions and are continuing to invest heavily in our land bank for 2007 and beyond."
Miller Homes is soon to start other projects at Harborne, Tewkesbury, Burton on Trent, Daventry and Stone in Staffordshire.
Mr Spiers added Miller's property business had also delivered an "excellent performance" in the face of a buoyant investment market.
Miller Developments has formed a joint venture with West Midlands entrepreneur Andy Ruhan to push through the £500 million Arena Central scheme, a mixed-use 2.3 million sq ft project to transform the underdeveloped south side of Broad Street opposite the ICC in Birmingham.
Mr Miller said an enabling groundworks contract was due to start this year once a new groundlease is negotiated with Birmingham City Council.
Irish firm Dandara has been named as the residential partner for the 175-metre tower planned for the 7.6-acre site, which takes in the former ATV television studios. A detailed planning consent application is being prepared.
Mr Spiers added: "We are well placed to deliver another successful year in 2006.
"All of our markets are performing positively and our businesses are certainly well positioned to deliver further growth."