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Pearce back in black thanks to refocus on local market

FINANCE

CHIEF executive Colin Forrest's decision to downsize Pearce and return the Bristol contractor to its roots has paid off with a return to profit.

In the year to April 2006 Pearce made a £527,000 pretax profit on a £120.9 million turnover.

Mr Forrest, who moved to Pearce from Rok in July 2005, said: 'We are carrying on with the plan and have slightly reorganised the team for the markets we are pursuing.'

Pearce has changed its financial year and the latest results compare with a £1.6 million loss on £229 million turnover for the 18 months to April 2005.

Under previous boss John Rackstraw, Pearce ventured into the Government's ProCure21 health initiative.

Despite winning and completing contracts, Pearce found it too costly and withdrew. A final £270,000 hit was sustained in the latest results for staff that left in spr ing 2005.

On Mr Forrest's arrival, Pearce only had one job in Bristol and was heavily exposed to retail, which will still comprise 40 per cent of this year's workload, but the firm is expanding into other sectors.

Mr Forrest said: 'We're trying to develop a business in affordable housing, which Pearce hadn't done before.

'We're also on half a dozen education jobs. Apart from one in Swindon, they're all local.'