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Osborne brushes off referendum uncertainty with profit rise

Osborne has posted a steady financial performance in its 2017 results despite “increased uncertainty” and a market slowdown as a result of the EU referendum.

The group’s profit before tax increased to £3.6m from £3m for the 12 months to 31 March 2017.

Group turnover increased by 1.7 per cent to £348m compared with £342m the previous year.

Chairman Andrew Osborne said the EU referendum “resulted in increased uncertainty” and caused a “slowdown in the projects coming to site”.

He also said changes in government funding for social housing had “impacted spending in this market” and that the group has seen a reduced turnover in its property business.

However, Osborne’s offsite manufacturing business, Innovaré Systems, saw profit increase to £0.5m from £0.2m.

Mr Osborne added that the Grenfell Tower tragedy will have a “far-reaching impact on the industry” and presented an “opportunity for us all to make a step-change in how the industry operates”.

Osborne chief executive Andy Steele added that it was “essential that the industry openly shares the learning from the detailed inquiries from this tragic event”.

He said: “I am confident that for a learning and agile organisation like Osborne, the challenging rate of change our industry is experiencing will provide exciting opportunities for us to deliver improving efficiencies to support our customers’ success and grow new revenues.”

Construction News revealed today that Mr Steele has confirmed the contractor will be voting for the continuation of the CITB.

The future of the training body will be decided this month as the industry votes in a triennial consensus process on whether to keep the CITB’s training levy in place.

The CITB needs half of the industry’s backing to secure its future and continue collecting funds from firms past April next year.

Mr Steele confirmed that Osborne will be voting to keep the CITB in place and said the wider industry could do more to assist the training body.

He said: “This is the only training body of its kind: we must not take it for granted.

“We must recognise the important work they do for the industry and not let it be invisible.”

He said the CITB needs reforming to “deliver the results that the industry is looking for”.

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