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Clugston sees profits rise after row resolved

FINANCE Construction division's profits up 55 per cent - Property up 139 per cent

CLUGSTON'S profit from construction work has risen after the Scunthorpe-based group consolidated and finally solved a long-running dispute.

The firm's construction division includes Clugston Construction, a waste-to-energy operation, and water business Ferro Monk.

Chief executive Roy Butcher said: 'In total, the group's construction activities showed an increased operating profit.

'Clugston Construction experienced a year of consolidation and, although operating profit was lower than the previous year, turnover maintained its level.

'We encountered delays in some Private Finance Initiative and LIFT-related contracts but progress has been made.'

Clugston Construction, which is run by John Burnett, also made progress in resolving a lengthy dispute with Leeds City Council.The disagreement over work at South Leeds Stadium produced a settlement that Mr Butcher described as 'satisfactory' Ferro Monk again lost money in the latest results for the year to January 2005.

This was due to the onset of work from the latest AMP4 round of spending from the water utilities being delayed.

But the losses were 'greatly reduced' according to Mr Butcher, who hopes for a better forthcoming year.

During the year Clugston sold its stake in a PFI concession to operate Sedgefield Community Hospital in County Durham.

The firm was working with Bank of Scotland in Normanby Healthcare and both have sold out but Clugston will continue to provide facilities management at the hospital.

Clugston also banked an extra £724,000 from a PFI scheme to run Queens Medical Centre as Bank of Scotland paid off an option to the company.

In addition to operating profits of £995,000 from construction, £456,000 from distribution and £94,000 from property, Clugston banked a £791,000 operating profit from its share of joint venture work.