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T Clarke set to cash in on London upturn

Electrical engineering contractor T Clarke is looking to cash in on an upturn in its core markets in London and the South East in 2005 after challenging markets and pressure on margins hit profits in 2004.
T Clarke is confident that the marked increase in good quality new business will last for three years, based on its experience of the market.

Pre-tax profits slumped 23 per cent in the year ending December 31, 2004 to £6.88 million from £8.94 million in 2003. Turnover, not including from new acquisitions, grew nearly 10 per cent to £157 million from £143 million a year earlier.

T Clarke said it bought two companies in 2004 - Derby based Mitchell & Hewitt and Anglia Electrical Services - in a bid to grow its operations and both are now trading well.

Looking ahead, 2005 started strongly after a strengthening in its markets towards the end of 2004, which it said would not be reflected in its figures until later this year.

Its regional operations saw an increase in the amount of work it is winning on affordable housing schemes, educational buildings, prisons, shops, health projects and facilities for the Ministry of Defence.

T Clarke chief executive Pat Stanborough said; 'The order book continues to grow and our regional businesses are reporting brisk trading. The board remains confident that we will deliver a further improvement in group performance during 2005.'

T Clarke has won a raft of new jobs including Unilver House in Blackfriars, the Royal Armouries new archive store in Leeds, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and a project for Vodafone in Newbury. In 2004 the contractor completed work on several flagship projects including the new London Stock Exchange at Paternoster Square, central London, the Treasury East building in Whitehall, Bank of America at Canary Wharf, the BBC Mailbox in Birmingham and Albion Towers in Leeds.

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