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How Group, the Birmingham mechanical and engineering contractor, stayed in the red last year with a pre-tax loss of £2.1 million (1992: £2.3 million).The firm made an operating loss of £480,000, down from £654,000 last time on a little changed turnover of £133.4 million. But the result was marred by losses of £1.65 million on discontinued operations at How Air and How Design and Management.Chairman Peter How said he was disappointed that new inquiries and orders in the first half of the year lost impetus in the second half. Contracting operations in the mechanical, electrical and fire sprinkler companies faced the toughest market conditions.But Mr How said orders had started quite strongly in 1994 and he expected the upturn to continue as industrial and commercial output rose.How's engineering services division aims to widen its client base and has opened a regional office in Bristol. CONSTRUCTION NEWS