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Fairfield Mabey cuts staff despite 83pc rise in profit

Welsh steel contractor Fairfield Mabey boosted its pre-tax profit by 83 per cent in the year to 30 September 2009 but the firm said it had to cut staff to “reflect lower demand in the market”.

The Gwent-based firm’s latest accounts show pre-tax profit increased by 83 per cent to £4.4 million from £2.4 million while turnover rose to £34 million from £32.2 million.

But on 21 May 2009 the group announced a fundamental reorganisation of its operating businesses.

As part of the reorganisation Fairfield Mabey sold assets to other parts of the Mabey Bridge Group for an undisclosed sum and following that sale directors said “the group’s activities will be greatly reduced”.

The number of staff reduced accordingly to 239 from 252 in 2008.

The firm’s five directors took a pay cut to £255,438 from £435,469 with the highest paid director taking home £89,430 compared with £93,475 a year before.

Fairfield Mabey carries out the manufacture and erection of structural steelwork for bridges, marine structures and civil engineering projects.

Director Alex Smale said in the accounts: “The key external risk is the current economic recession and its impact on the construction industry.

“Activity levels are unlikely to return to those seen in 2008, as the UK economy emerges from recession, public spending cuts are unlikely to impact upon the company’s core markets.

“The company exposure on raw material price risk is generally diminished by restricting bid validity to periods within those quoted by suppliers and by material price escalation clauses.

“Wherever possible the company aims to maintain alternative sources and form project specific agreements in order to minimise the risk of escalating material supply costs.”