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Laing, a British construction company heavily involved in PFIs (private finance initiatives) in the health care sector, has reported a 45 per cent increase in profits in 2005.

The book value of the company’s PFI contracts rose from £65 million in 2000 to £330 million in 2006.

Profits from the health sector are so good that Laing - and other companies in the same business - have started packaging projects and selling stakes in them to pension funds and insurers as “low-risk” income investments.

-With files from The Guardian