Chief executive John Morgan said the construction arm was now well on track to deliver a targeted operating margin of 2.5%-3% after several years of disciplined selective bidding.
The firm shrugged off challenging market conditions last year to lift revenue 3% to £3bn. This generated a 10% jump in pre-tax profit to £89m.
Morgan said the group anticipated another strong year ahead supported by a strong balance sheet and secured workload up 14% to £7.6bn.
He added that with average daily net cash increased to £109m (FY 2018: £99m), the business was in a strong position to maintain its flexibility of being highly selective with contract bidding, while also investing in the regeneration activities
Construction, partnership housing and property services were star performers over the year, with fit-out impacted by a more competitive market.
Payment performance improved at the construction and infrastructure division with the average time taken to pay invoices down to 32 days, and 97% of invoices paid within 60 days.
Morgan said: “Our balance sheet remains a significant differentiator allowing us to make the right long-term decisions for the business.
“With our average daily net cash position further increasing in the year, we have the flexibility to continue being highly selective with our bidding while also investing in our regeneration activities.”
He added: “Both the volume and the quality of our secured workload have increased in the year leaving us well-positioned for the future.
“We are confident of another good year of progress in 2020 and the Group is in a strong position to deliver on its expectations.”