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Heating maintenance firm posts profits

Heating and plumbing maintenance specialist Powerminster Gleeson saw profits and revenue rise over the past year while its parent group MJ Gleeson lost more than £20 million largely due to the property downturn.

The audited results for the 12 months up to 30 June 2008 showed profits at Powerminster Gleeson rose 57 per cent to £1.1million from £700,000 after operating margins increased and revenues rose from £17.5mill to £19.5mill.

Meanwhile, the confirmed order book doubled in value to £158.8mill.

The results report said: “The business has substantially increased its long-term service and repair work for registered social landlords (RSLs) and Local Authorities (LAs). In addition, the business increased its operating profit for a third successive year.

“Contracts secured during the year include Avantage (Cheshire) Limited and Leeds Independent Living Accommodation Limited, with confirmed values of £29mill and £46mill, to be delivered over 30 years and 25 years respectively.”

The company said it was investing in extending its social housing activities throughout the UK and was actively recruiting.

Dermot Gleeson, chairman, said: 'Powerminster Gleeson Services increased its operating profit for a third successive year, as a result of maintaining its increased focus on the provision of property maintenance services.'

The performance of parent group MJ Gleeson was very different. It reported a pre-tax loss of £20.8million compared to a profit in 2007 of £8.3mill.

This was mainly due to exceptional charges of £17.4m and a charge of £4.1m for the settlement of a longstanding legacy issue linked to the former Gleeson Building Contracting Division.

These exceptional charges included £10.6million related to downward asset revaluations, £5.2mill connected to restructuring costs and £1.6m for a rental guarantee.

Before the deduction of exceptional charges and the settlement charge the group had made a profit before tax of £0.7mill. This was still far lower than the previous year due to falling house prices and lower sales.