Banner Holdings is back in the black despite a difficult year battling Colchester council over Rafael Viñoly’s £26m visual arts centre

The contractor has posted a £166,000 pre-tax profit for 2009, compared with a £2.6m loss the previous year. This corresponded to a 28% rise in turnover to £13.2m, up from £10.3m.

Banner and Colchester council have been in a row over the arts centre since the end of 2007 in relation to a string of technical issues including the design of the guttering, which led to Banner being ejected from the job in April 2009. In the annual report Banner director Peter Elston said there “were no valid grounds to determine our contract”. He added that the firm had sought legal advice over “what we consider to be a flawed design that is the client’s [Colchester council] responsibility”.

In 2008 the contractor said it spent £4m on the dispute, and has now submitted a High Court claim regarding the project. Elston said he remains “extremely confident” of a successful outcome.

Despite the costs, Banner finished the year with £1.2m in net funds. In 2009 the contractor also commenced work on Sheffield’s City Plaza office redevelopment as well as the Liversedge children’s centre in Wakefield. In December Banner also finished a US supermarket at RAF Alconbury for Defence Estates.