CONSTRUCTION firm Amiri has smashed its record for the value of contracts won in the first quarter of the year.

The Fareham based builder has taken on contracts worth £20m since the turn of the year, beating its pre-recession record of £15.8m in 2008.

Staffing levels have increased from 24 to 28 in the past six months as the firm works on projects to refurbish offices, build luxury homes, a new teaching facility and a £5.8m food processing plant and cold store.

The firm is also building one of the most expensive homes ever seen in the south – an £8m five bedroom mansion on the Sandbanks peninsula in Dorset – where neighbours will include former Saints manager Harry Redknapp.

The house will be the latest addition to Panorama Road – dubbed Millionaires’ Row. The bumper crop of contracts – £2m ahead of target – has prompted company bosses to feature a traditional ship’s telegraph set to “full steam” on the cover of their annual report.

Managing director Grahame Pettit, who launched the company in 2005, said: “It’s definitely not plain sailing in this current economy and we have adapted our business to ensure we continue to trade profitably.

“We remain determined to put quality first and are well on course to be on-time on-budget for the 12 projects currently under way.”

Amiri reported a turnover of £12.5m in the year to December 31, with a £231,340 profit.

It was down on the £223,617 profit of the previous year on a turnover of £13.0m.