Construction, housebuilding and property group Kier is predicting that profits for the year to the end of June will be substantially ahead of last year and will beat current market expectations. The Times. Financial Times

Commercial construction — Kier has a £36.7m contract to renovate the new Supreme Court building in Westminster — and building maintenance services show no signs of slowing. Kier generates 50% of its construction work from the private sector.

John Dodds, chief executive, said that this was being fuelled by retailers, especially Sainsbury’s, which has ramped up its new store development.

He added that Kier was seeing a significant amount of public sector work in prisons and a growth in school work, but the health sector was still slow.