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Rok profit jumps 188pc

Rok today reported a 188 per cent increase in pre-tax profit despite a 29 per cent reduction in turnover.

Rok’s turnover for the year to 31 December 2009 totalled £714.8 million from £1.01 billion the prior year, but pre-tax profit rose to £17 million from £5.9 million.

The business actively reduced its regional contracting business over the year reducing its workforce in the area by 660. Turnover in that division fell as a consequence by 45 per cent to £307.4 million from £563.6 million.

But the group focused on the expansion of its maintenance and improvement businesses which now accounts for 58 per cent of the total Rok turnover.

Rok, which achieved a five star status in an audit by The British Safety Council in November has 83 per cent of its 2010 target revenue already secured and an order book of more than £2 billion.

Rok chief executive Garvis Snook said: “We have focused on repair and maintenance and small building works and been less dependent on the more challenging market of regional contracting.

“There are companies going out of business in regional contracting and tender margins have become fierce.

“We have focused on areas where we can offer something really different. We are very margin focused and we have not been driving for volume.”

Rok chairman Stephen Pettit added: “We have maintained our profit levels despite reducing our revenues. This reflects the impact of our cost reduction programme as we shift our emphasis to the repair, maintenance and improvement markets.

“The board continues to be cautious on the overall outlook for our sector. The changes we have made in repositioning our business I believe illustrate the strength and flexibility of our company which bodes well for the resumption of Rok’s growth when the wider economy begins a sustainable recovery.”