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Rok solid start to 2008

Rok Group has announced revenue was up by 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2008 compared to the same time last year with its property maintenance operations growing significantly.

Chairman Stephen Pettit made the interim management statement at the group’s Annual General Meeting.

He said the committed order book across new build and planned repairs and refurbishment activities currently stands at £650million, up 24 per cent on 2007.

New long term frameworks won since the beginning of the year, primarily in social housing and education, total £240m, up £70m on 2007.

Rok’s total long term partnership arrangements currently stand at £1.9bn, up 27% on the same time last year.

Mr Pettit said: “We continue to drive more of our activities to repairs, refurbishment and response maintenance where our self delivery capability is delivering higher rates of customer satisfaction and enhanced margins, demonstrating the robustness of our business model. We remain confident about the Group’s prospects for the year as a whole.”

“Planned repairs and refurbishment demand continues to grow, with a particular emphasis on projects in social housing and education. The pipeline of potential projects is strong which is expected to underpin growth into 2009 and beyond.

“Our Response Maintenance operations continue to grow strongly with first quarter revenues up significantly on the prior year.”

“In January, we acquired Pitkerro, a plumbing and heating services business based
in Dundee which will add to the scale of the Group's other businesses in this
sector which we intend to expand across the UK.”

Mr Pettit said the company was looking to invest further in expanding its maintenance work while moving away from property development.

He said: “Our Development division is operating in difficult market conditions as tenant demand remains slow and investment yields continue to soften.

“Our exposure to property development, which currently represents a minor part of the Group's activities, is being reduced and we expect to have liquidated the bulk of the portfolio by the end of 2008.

“The proceeds will be used for further acquisitions to underpin our core building and maintenance activities.”