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Cash rich Renew Holdings looks at acquisitions

Engineering and construction services group Renew Holdings is looking at potential acquisitions despite pre-tax profit and turnover both dropping 10 per cent.

Renew’s pre-tax profit for the six months to 31 March 2009 totalled £3.5 million compared with £3.9 million the previous year. Turnover fell to £171.6 million from £192.9 million.

But with the group’s net cash balance standing at £17.5 million bosses said Renew is well placed to take advantage of acquisition opportunities.

Renew Holdings chairman Roy Harrison said: “Our balance sheet remains debt free with substantial cash resources enabling the group to take advantage of selective opportunities as they arise.”

Chief executive Brian May added: “We are not in any rush, but we are looking for suitable acquisitions to build on what we do.

“We are comfortable in the sectors we operate. We are always looking to widen our geographical base. In engineering our worst region is the South-east. We haven’t found the right opportunity there yet.”

The group’s order book increased slightly to £221 million compared with £219 million on 30 September 2008.

Bosses said they now expect the specialist engineering division to be worth 40 per cent of turnover going forward.

Action had to be taken in the building division to reduce capacity by 23 per cent bringing an exceptional charge of £2.5 million for redundancy and restructuring.