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Keller chairman retires with firm reporting 24pc drop in profit

Keller chairman Dr Michael West retired from the business today after the firm reported a 24 per cent drop in first-half profit.

Keller reported pre-tax profit of £41 million for the first six months 2009, down 24 per cent compared to the £54.2 million earned in the same period last year.

Turnover fell 3 per cent to £552.6 million from £568.7 million the previous year.

The firm’s chairman for the past 14 years Dr Michael West retired today, handing over the reigns to Roy Franklin.

The ground engineer said conditions in most of its markets remained tough, with margins squeezed by strong competition for business.

Keller chief executive Justin Atkinson said: “Whilst there are a few encouraging signs, conditions in most of our markets remain tough.

“However, I am confident that over the longer term we will emerge from these difficult conditions in good shape, to take full advantage of the upturn in our markets when it comes.”

Mr Atkinson added: “On behalf of the board and all the group’s employees, I would like to thank Mike for his pivotal role in creating and growing the world-class business that Keller has become.”