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T Clarke profit halves after restructuring and bad debts

Pre-tax profits at M&E contractor T Clarke dropped 49 per cent in 2009 against a turnover which fell 19 per cent, the firm revealed.

The contractor’s profit was hit by £1.4 million of restructuring costs and £1.9 million of bad debts.

T Clarke’s turnover for the year to 31 December 2009 totalled £178 million compared with £220 million in 2008 while pre-tax profit fell to £6.8 million from £13.4 million.

The group’s order book remained flat at £160 million, the same figure as the prior year, but T Clarke has £40 million of contracts under negotiation compared to £30 million in 2008.

Around £110 million of T Clarke’s order book is due for completion in 2010.

During the year the firm’s London turnover dropped to £67.8 million from £102.1 million while the turnover from its regional businesses dropped to £109.8 million from £118 million.

T Clarke chief executive Mark Lawrence said: “The year has proved to be challenging, but the group is in good shape. I am pleased that we have maintained our leading position in many of our markets, despite increased competition and pressure on margins.

“Financially the group is in good shape with a significant cash balance at the year end of £23 million. This has given us the resources to consider further opportunities to grow by acquisition.

“Looking forward, there are some signs of a recovery in commercial property markets. We are looking to the future with cautious optimism.”

In a separate announcement T Clarke revealed it had acquired D&S (Engineering Facilities) Limited for a total cash consideration of up to £11.6 million.