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T Clarke profits fall 14pc as restructuring continues

T Clarke’s profits fell 14 per cent in 2011 as the firm restructured in the south and Scotland, it said this week.

In line with expectations, the contractor saw profit before tax drop to £4.9m in the year to 31 December 2011, down from £5.7m a year earlier, while group revenue increased from £179m to £183m.

The firm’s projects have included the Olympics, Westfield shopping centre and the Shard, with 2011 wins including the Walkie Talkie and 100 Bishopsgate. Mechanical and electrical remains at the centre of the business, but seven other sectors - including facilities management and ICT - now provide over 40 per cent of revenue, it said.

The TClarke South division revenue rose to £117.1m in 2011 (2010: £111.8m), but operating profit fell from £4.8m to £1.7 million, with profit margin dropping from 4.3 per cent to 1.5 per cent. It included £400,000 of restructuring costs following the merger of its Peterborough and Derby operations (formerly in its north division), and the “realignment of the direct workforce in London to match our workloads”.

Chief executive Mark Lawrence said: “The board is encouraged that the mix of our business has broadened in line with our strategy of widening the range of services we offer.  The group has strengthened its balance sheet, continued to deliver a profit and remains committed to paying our shareholders an appropriate dividend. 

“Looking ahead, we are well positioned.  In uncertain times the strength of our reputation is shining through.” 

TClarke North saw revenue increase to £49.7m (2010: £46m) but operating profit down to £1.9m (2010: £2.2m), giving a margin of 3.8 per cent (2010: 4.7 per cent).

TClarke Scotland revenue decreased to £17m (2010: £21.2m), with an operating loss of £0.7m (2010: loss £1.4m), including a further restructuring costs as it focused on the residential market and growth areas of IT and engineering led projects.

The group said it was debt free with £0.6m of cash, down from £7.2m a year before.  The order book was flat at £190m.

The results included full year contributions from D&S Engineering Facilities and DG Robson Mechanical Services, both acquired in 2010.

T Clarke said it will “sensibly consider appropriate opportunities” in acquisitions, but said short-term growth will centre on the existing group structure and services. It will look to expand these into more local areas, as it did with the creation of offices in Cardiff and Plymouth.

Analysts expect the firm to make £4.3m of profit in 2012.

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