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Banner cuts workforce as workload drops off

FINANCE

BANNER has reduced it's workforce after a slump in operating profits, as workload fell at the Chesterfield-based construction management and contracting outfit.

Turnover at Banner, whose management bought the company four years ago from Henry Boot for £5 million, fell £6.1 million to £42.9 million in 2005 and operating profits virtually halved to £240,446.

Chairman Peter Elston said: 'Work acquisition is in excess of budget, with excellent prospects for this to be further enhanced.'

The fall in workload was due mainly to a decrease in work done through joint ventures.

Banner's staff numbers fell a third to 100 by the end of last year, which cut the wage bill £1.7 million to £2.9 million.

Group pre-tax profits ballooned £1.6 million to £2.2 million but this was due to a £2.2 million credit after a change in the firm's pension system.

Banner has invested £1.7 million in IT over the past three years. In January Mr Elston's son, Peter L Elston, took the managing director's role as part of a succession plan.

Banner also launched three divisions: sports surfaces, rail plant and site health care.