Board unanimous in support of Lawrence at T Clarke agm

Mark Lawrence looks set to take over as T Clarke’s chief executive when Pat Stanborough retires at the end of the year. A nominations committee, having decided that an internal candidate would best suit the interests of both the shareholders and the Group, has recommended Mark Lawrence as his successor and T Clarke’s board is unanimous in its support.

Mark Lawrence, aged 41, is an electrical engineer and was promoted to the post of managing director of the London operations in 2007 and has 24 years of service with the company.

T Clarke remains positive ahead of today's annual general meeting. The Group has made a positive start to the year and the order book stands at around £175m (Q1 2008: £200m). “Current market conditions continue to be uncertain, however, early indicators suggest some restoration of confidence in the construction of new build commercial properties,” said a trading statement.

“The Group's London operations continue to bid for a number of exciting opportunities, including rail infrastructure projects, some of which are linked with the major London transport project Crossrail. Steady progress is being made on the Olympic Stadium, which is on schedule for completion in early 2011. Design activities have commenced on the Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre, which is located close to the London Olympic site.”

In the regions the Group's businesses continue to enjoy success in the public sector (notably in health, education, housing and prisons). The Group's operations in Scotland, Newcastle, Leeds and Derby also have good forward order books and visibility.

The Group has secured a good balance of new contracts with both private and public sector clients. These contracts include Ravensbourne College, Greenwich; ABN Amro, 250 Bishopsgate; Longbenton Campus, North Tyneside; Black Lion Sports Centre, Gillingham, Kent; Northern Ballet, Leeds; HMP Hull; New Business Enterprise Centre, Derby University; Cherrytree Nursing Home, Nottingham; Longannet Power Station, Firth of Forth, Scotland.

The Group has a strong cash position with net cash balances of approximately £21m as at 30 April 2009. “During these difficult times the Group remains vigilant with regard to credit risk and bad debt exposure. At this stage we are not considering any acquisitions, but we remain alert to be able to move quickly if suitable opportunities present themselves.”