Interim results claim strong balance sheet and minimal debt despite £2m fall in pre-tax profit

Cyril Sweet suffered an £8.3m fall in revenue in 2009 compared with last year.

The news was revealed in the group's interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2009.

Its operating profit dropped from £3.4m in 2008 down to £1.5m this year, and its profit before tax slipped by £2m.

However, despite the downturn, the group said it had a strong balance sheet with minimal net debt with a contracted order book standing at £64m.

Cyril Sweet said education remained its key focus, with its health division also performing well in the first six months of the year.

But it acknowledged that its commercial office market remained subdued, and that demand within its hotels and leisure sector remained “weak”.

Commenting on the results, chief executive officer Dean Webster said: "Since the downturn from September 2008, which affected particularly the commercial market, we have realised annualised cost savings totalling £11m and in the year we have generated cash from operations of £5.6m."

“We continue to focus on cash management and cost control whilst exploring new market opportunities and investing in aspects of the business that will enhance our future revenue.”