Retail construction firm Styles & Wood has reported a half year loss of £1.1 million with turnover having fallen 39 per cent.
Styles & Wood’s pre-tax loss of £1.1 million for the six months to 30 June 2009 was down on the profit of £2.4 million recorded the year before.
Turnover fell to £74.8 million from £123.1 million as retailers property investment plans continued to be curtailed due to the recession.
But from a debt of around £22 million last year, the firm is now in a net cash position of £8.7 million after a refinancing exercise brought in £13.8 million.
As market conditions have deteriorated the firm’s management took action to align the group’s cost base with reduced revenues.
These actions have already delivered in excess of £8 million of annualised cost savings.
Styles & Wood chief executive Ivan McKeever said: “We are at the beginning of the end of the recession and not the start of the recovery.
“There is an important distinction because there is still a tough road ahead over the next six to 12 months in construction and more broadly the economy.
“But we have a strong balance sheet and we deal with some strong retail brands.
“It will be a slow recovery and I believe it will be the back end of 2010 before things will be much brighter.”
Mr McKeever said 53 per cent of Styles & Wood’s business comes in the retail sector.
The firm’s strategy over the next two to three years will be to diversify into the office, leisure and public sectors.