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Return to profit at Harding

FINANCE

GEORGE & Harding has burst back into the black despite a doubling of the number of managers and administrators at the Bournemouth-based contractor.

The firm slumped into the red in 2003, losing £156,890 as a wage hike took its toll, but results filed at Companies House show that the past year produced a recovery with a £336,728 pre-tax profit.

The firm said: 'The directors consider that the company continues to trade satisfactorily subject to current trading conditions.'

George & Harding's clients range from Travelodge to the NHS and turnover surged £6.5 million to £24.5 million in the year to September 2004.

The firm lost £126,802 in 2003 at an operating level but made a £340,204 profit last year, which translates into a 1.8 per cent margin.

George & Harding is a contractor, project manager and joinery manufacturer and the workforce rose by 19 per cent to 70 people last year.

The number of operatives slipped 10 per cent to 38 but there are 32 people employed as managers or administrators.

The firm traces its origins back to 1867.

Current chairman Colin Harding is the grandson of co-founder Henry Harding.