Rail network services company Jarvis said that Network Rail’s decision to delay works had created a difficult trading environment as the firm’s profit fell 32 per cent.
Pre-tax profits at Jarvis fell to £5.1 million for the year to 31 March 2009, down 32 per cent from £7.5 million the previous year.
The firm actually reported an increase in turnover to £345.8 million from £321.9 million.
But Jarvis was hit by exceptional costs of £11.4 million relating to restructuring, redundancy costs and an exit from the container haulage business.
The firm’s net debt reduced to £21.5 million from £38.8 million in 2008 and working capital facilities were successfully extended to January 2011.
Jarvis executive chairman Steven Norris said: “Our strategy continues to be that of concentrating on the development of our rail, plant and freight businesses while ensuring that our facilities management business continues to improve margins.
“We are ensuring we will be at the forefront of the challenge to produce more efficient ways of working which will ultimately deliver a seven day railway.
“The current economic conditions and Network Rail’s decision to delay works created a difficult trading environment in the second half of the year under review and this is expected to continue through 2009-10.
“The prospects beyond that appear much more promising.”
Meanwhile Jarvis announced that chief executive Richard Entwistle will retire with effect from the annual general meeting in September this year.
Stuart Laird, currently the group’s chief operating officer, to be appointed as chief executive following the retirement of Richard Entwistle.
Professor Brian Mellitt is also to retire as a non-executive director following completion of his second three year term.