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Bowmer & Kirkland turnover down 2pc as profits almost half

Turnover at Bowmer & Kirkland turnover fell 2 per cent in the year ended 31 August 2009, but higher wage costs hit profits hard with a fall of 45 per cent.

Pre-tax profit droppedl 45 per cent to £29 million in 2009, from £43 million in 2008. Turnover decreased to £15 million to £870 million.

The firm said this was a satisfactory performance and that profits were in line with their expectations. Chairman John Kirkland said: “At the end of what has been a difficult trading year, I am pleased to report satisfactory results for 2009.

“The following year will be a challenge but the directors believe that the company has a strong infrastructure and is well placed to take advantage of any available opportunities in the various market places in which we operate.”

During the year, the firm bucked the recent trend and increased its staff levels by over 200 people. The wages bill increased by £20 million and it now employs close to 2,000 people.

Payments to directors during the year increased considerably during the year to £20.3 million, with the highest paid director earning over £10 million.

The finances of the firm are in good health, with a cash balance, after allowing for debt, of £175 million and a pension fund surplus of £5 million.