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Osborne grows despite knock

OSBORNE is pushing ahead with an expansion despite profits dipping after the Sussex-based contractor was forced to make a provision for losses on an unidentified project.

The firm, whose pre-tax profits slumped to £2.4 million in the year to March 2004 from £4.1 million in the preceding 12 months, has taken on 90 staff in recent months and is opening another office in High Wycombe.

Chief executive Nick Yandle said: 'These investments are being made for the long-term benefit of the company.

'They have a short-term impact on profitability but as a financially strong private company we are well positioned to take the long-term view.'

Turnover barrelled up to £195.6 million from £181.6 million in 2003.

Of the latest workload,70 per cent came from the private sector, including schools, social housing, roads, rail and healthcare.