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Simons Group profit grows by 57% but project delays hit construction and design businesses

Retail specialist Simons Group has boosted its profit to £1m, despite acknowledging project delays in its construction and design businesses.

Group profit before tax for the year to 31 March 2015 reached £1m, up from £0.6m in its previous results.

Turnover meanwhile fell 10.8 per cent to £114.8m in 2014/15 from £128.6m a year earlier.

Simons’ construction arm posted a third consecutive year in the black, despite the group acknowledging it had suffered “significant project delays” during the year. Turnover in the division rose to £103.6m, up from £102.9m in its previous results.

Its construction clients include Morrisons and Waitrose, with Simons currently working on a 97,000 sq ft Waitrose and John Lewis development in Horsham.

The design business also had a “challenging” 12 months, according to the group’s chief executive Tom Robinson, with activity falling as the result of project delays. Turnover for the design arm dipped by 36 per cent to £1.5m, down from £2.4m a year earlier.

However, the group emphasised that the business still had a strong stream of work from client GlaxoSmithKline.

The company said its development arm had “shifted focus away from big supermarket format” due to the “changing” marketplace, and will now focus on convenience and discount operators.

Development turnover fell to £9.6m, down from £23.3m in its previous results, but the firm said that profit remained stable.

Simons said its order book had “significantly improved” compared with the previous year, according to Mr Robinson, although he says that he expects the market to “remain challenging with margins under pressure from price inflation in the supply chain”.

Earlier this year, Simons Group appointed former Balfour Beatty and Carillion boss Mark Holden (pictured) as its group construction director.


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