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Pochin reveals 47pc profit drop

Profits at Cheshire-based contractor Pochin have dropped 47 per cent in the six months to November 2007, the firm revealed today.

Pre-profits fell to £2.1 million from 4.4 million for the same period last year but turnover edged up to £54.4 million from £53.2 million in 2006.

Results for 2006 included a pension credit of £2 million.

The firms contracting arm carries a healthy order book of £88 million despite a “disproportionate number of projects” due for completion in second half of the year.

It said its construction services division saw improved performance following a reorganisation.

The firm said: “While the modest first half loss is disappointing, the result for the year as a whole will be more acceptable if these projects conclude according to forecast.”

Delays in completion of a number of property disposals have hit its property arm due to a shift in conditions in the commercial property market. Although the firm expects transactions to resume it predicts a reduced amount.

Pochin Homes is suffering from the market slowdown with reduced levels of demand. The firm said lower interest rates for the spring would help improve this market.

The contractor said: “Given its well deserved reputation as an established contractor, and its involvement in high quality developments, the group is well placed to benefit when more stable market conditions become established.

“Further delay in the property disposals referred to above would have an impact on the final result for the year.”