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Styles & Wood reports £1.1m half year loss

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.