Turnover falls 11.5% at social housing maintenance firm despite rise in pre-tax profit

Shares dipped at social housing maintenance specialist Inspace as it announced a 11.5% fall in turnover even though it generate an increase in pre-tax profit.

The firm’s share dropped 2% on the news that turnover fell to £62.64m for the six months to 30 June 2006 from £70.815m in the same period last year.

However pre-tax profit grew 6.8% to £3.7m up from £3.4m the group also improved its operating margin which increased to 5.7% up from last year’s 5%.

Colin Enticknap, executive chairman, said turnover has been in line which market’s expectations and was a result the winding down of subsidiary Inspace Complete’s Job Centre Plus refurbishment contracts. The reduction in Inspace Maintain, its non-housing and maintenance unit, as part of a planned programme also impacted on turnover.

AIM-listed Inspace was formed when it demerged from contractor Willmott Dixon last year. In July Inspace agreed to pay £64.5m for entire issued share capital of Willmott Dixon’s social housing arm Widacre.

Enticknap said the acquisition would increase its market share of the registered social landlord market, which he sees as an important customer base for tapping into work under the government’s Decent Homes initiative.