“Testing year” sees steel contractor post £7m loss for 2014

Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd has recorded a pre-tax loss of £7m for 2014 with former managing director Brian Rogen calling it a “testing year”.

In the latest accounts posted by the steel specialist for the year ended 31 December 2014, the loss is attributed to one unnamed major contract which “had a harsh effect on profitability”.

The firm also suffered a £3m pre-tax loss in 2013, but reported that as of December 2014 it had an order book of £121m, including the contract for phase 2 of the Sri Lanka Rural Bridges scheme, and expected to return to profitability in 2015.

Cleveland Bridge said it expected the contract would have a “positive impact on the company’s profitability and liquidity going forward” and that it had also picked up a number of new UK contracts.

However, the company reported that the Sri Lanka contract had been delayed and this had impacted on the expected turnover and margin for 2014, which the company reported to be £33.4m, 5.4% lower than the £35.3m turnover recorded for 2013.

Phase one of the Sri Lanka Rural Bridges contract contributed 48% of the firm’s turnover for 2014, the firm said, with the remainder coming from the UK.

Cleveland Bridge also forecasted its 2015 turnover to hit £55m on the back of growth in the UK and international sales markets and the “demise” of competition in the UK bridge sector.

The firm is currently working in the £790m Forth Bridge replacement crossing in Scotland.