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Interserve posts pre-tax profit fall

Interserve has revealed a fall in full-year pretax profits, but the company expects to see stable trading conditions this year.

The maintenance and outsourcing firm cited challenging conditions as one of the main contributing factors behind it earning £64.1 million for 2010, compared to £89.2 million in 2009.

A Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll showed that the results were slightly lower than the average forecast from nine analysts, who had expected pretax profits of £68 million.

Interserve, which works for clients such as the NHS, the BBC, the Ministry of Defence and Sainsbury said pretax profits were lower than in 2009 as a result of a cyclical downturn in its equipment services division.

The company noted an upturn in fortunes for both its project services and support services divisions which it hopes will drive stronger returns in 2011.

Interserve chief executive Adrian Ringrose said: “Interserve traded in line with expectations during challenging conditions in 2010, with an excellent performance from Project Services and the initial benefits of our margin enhancement programme in Support Services being offset by cyclical weakness in Equipment Services.

“We expect stable trading conditions overall in 2011. Moreover we believe that we have the capability to double earnings per share over five years to benefit from an improved outsourcing market in the UK as the government imposes its austerity measures.”