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Industrial revival puts recovery back on Track

FINANCE - Trak targets £35 million turnover as industrial sector upturn sets off a poor year

CONSISTENT signs of a revival in the industrial sector should help push turnover up a third this year at contractor Trak.

The privately-owned firm's workload was static last year as the recession in industrial jobs bit hard but that is changing as Hemel Hempstead-based Trak targets a £35 million turnover.

Finance director David Grief said: 'In 2002 we were pushing a £27 million turnover.Then last year we only had about £6 million-worth of industrial work but that's changing.We were on target to turn over £50 million by 2005 but that flat year pushed things back a year or two.'

This dip sent pre-tax profits down £182,190 to £253,787 in the year to August 2003 but Trak has recently taken on a £5 million industrial scheme for Helical Bar and two similarly valued jobs funded by insurer Morley.

Mr Grief said: 'We've been picking up schools jobs through the consultant Tribal and there's a lot more schools work coming through tender-wise.'

The firm was only founded in 2000 when Mr Grief and Graham Smetham - now Trak's managing director - bought out industrial developer Chancery Gate's contracting arm.

Trak is also taking on more education work.Mr Grief added: 'What is encouraging is that 80 per cent of our work came from outside Chancery Gate.'

The business comprises three divisions:

construction, which includes industrial work; building; and residential.

The residential arm doubled turnover after more housing association work but had a disappointing year.

This helped cut Trak's margins from 1.6 per cent to just under 1 per cent.