Building and engineering services group takes £1.5m hit from redundancy costs but still on track for £9.4m profit before exceptionals

Renew Holdings has cut 80 jobs – 15% of staff – at its land remediation business because of the downturn in the housing market.

The move will result in a one-off hit of £1.5m to the building and engineering services group's 2008 accounts.

In a pre-close trading statement, the group said it has traded “satisfactorily” in the second half of the year to 30 September 2008, and is on track to post a profit before exceptional items of £9.4m.

It had net cash of £27m at the year end.

The announcement marks a departure from comments made in May by the firm's chief executive, Brian May, who said then that the company had been immune from the credit crunch.

The latest statement said: “In the last few months, conditions in the house building market, which is the principal end market for our land remediation business, have worsened considerably. Additionally, the group is identifying weaker market conditions ahead for non-specialised building which represented 27% of its building turnover in 2007 financial year.”

Renew Holdings also announced the acquisition of specialist water services group C&A Pumps for £1.75m, which the group said is in line with its strategy to grow the specialist engineering business.