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Profit drops for T Clarke in "challenging" market

T Clarke is gearing up to work on some of London’s most prestigious new schemes, however its profits have fallen as it rejects low margin work.

Revenue increased by £6.9m to £92.6m - which the firm attributes to the impact of its 2010 acquisitions including mechanical contractor DG Robson Mechanical Services - however the group’s pre tax profit fell from £3.2m to £1.4m.

T Clarke chairman Russell Race said: “The group has seen no improvement in the trading environment and does not expect to see any significant improvement in the short term.

“In the short term, we will continue to seek out opportunities in our traditional markets as well as those markets we do not currently fully serve.”

Chief executive Mark Lawrence added: “Our core markets remain challenging. However, we are delighted to have been appointed on a number of the largest and most significant commercial and office development projects in the UK.

“But given the increased levels of competition across the market, margins remain under pressure. The group is very active in tendering for work, but we will not be drawn into accepting projects where we cannot meet our financial expectations.”

T Clarke is currently working on Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre and has won contracts for the new TfL Cable Car, the Tate Modern 2 extension project, North East Quadrant at Regent’s Place for British Land and the fit out project for JP Morgan at Canary Wharf.

Its forward order book is £193m (30 June 2010: £220m) of which £69m is scheduled for completion this year. Net cash and bank deposits are £3.4m (31st December 2010: £7.2m).

As the group looks to new markets it has undertaken £15m of Facilities Management contracts, a sector the group says it is targeting through acquisitions including D&S Engineering Facilities, and £5m of photovoltaic installations.

The group stated: “Tendering activity and opportunities remain high across the group, and the prospects for the group remain encouraging despite the challenges in the short term.”