It’s a day of mixed emotions for Galliford Try. As the firm revealed record-setting half-year figures, its chief operating officer Ken Gillespie said it was time for him to retire after two decades with the company. The news of Gillespie’s retirement comes as Galliford Try revealed a 24% increase in profit over its earnings six months previously. The £52.9m made for the six months up to the end of 2015 came as revenue rose by 12%, comfortably passing the £1bn mark.

It has been a particularly strong period for the group’s construction division which is on course to hit £1.5bn ahead of its 2018 target with revenue up 22%. 99% of projected revenue is now secured for the current financial year with the construction order book enjoying £3.7bn of work.

Gillespie, who leaves his post having guided Galliford Try through the credit crunch, said the company’s successful standing today highlights the “bridge between recession and recovery”. Focus until the end of the year is on tying up legacy contracts.

“We are wrapping up final accounts and supply chain accounts and we expect them to be fully complete within the next 6 to 12 months,” he said, admitting the firm had plans to develop its capacity to tackle road and rail projects. “While the company had a huge tradition in this area, we haven’t necessarily exploited the volumes that the company is capable of.”

Bill Hocking will continue to lead the construction business following Gillespie’s departure.