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Wrekin nosedives into the red

The new joint managing director of Wrekin has slammed the previous management for creating the mess which saw the Shropshire contractor rack up losses of nearly £10 million.

Peter Greenwood has been in the role for four months after the other joint managing director John Woodcock became the group’s major shareholder last October.

Wrekin’s losses led to a round of blood-letting which saw the departures of most of the previous board with only Mr Greenwood and finance director Nick Ibbotson surviving.

In the year to March 2007, the firm saw pre-tax losses hit £9.5 million after the firm took a £6.3 million hit exiting three utility term contracts. Reorganisation costs were also blamed for the nosedive which followed a £775,000 pre-tax profit in the 15 months to March 2006.

But in his notes accompanying the firm’s latest report and accounts filed at Companies House, Mr Greenwood said he was in no doubt where the fault lay.

He said the previous regime suffered from “poor management decision making and failure to control overhead spending”.

Mr Greenwood added that long-term contracts should have been renegotiated and that an “overly ambitious growth strategy inevitably lead to a number of significant mispriced project awards”.

Wrekin has returned to the black in the half year to September and Mr Greenwood said that all of the current year’s £90 million turnover had been awarded.

Turnover in the last year fell by £30 million to £103.6 million while the number of staff slipped slightly to 773. The highest paid director, who is not named, picked up £214,000 including £10,000 for loss of office.