Support services group Interserve has announced that it is closing three non-core businesses that were forecast to make an operating loss of £5m.
The company's board said that it would close its operations in a non-specialist scaffolding area, as the sector was considered too competitive; the installation of low voltage electricity distribution lines, which was showing little sign of profitable growth; and the installation of rail cabling and signalling, where margins and work volumes were deemed inadequate.

Interserve said the closures were expected to lead to an exceptional charge in the second half of the year of £14m, of which £11m relates to the closures and £3m to the trading losses. A net inflow of £10m is now anticipated as assets are sold and debts collected from within these businesses.

The announcement came in a trading statement that said the firm was otherwise performing in line with expectations, and had £3.6bn in its forward order book.

Chairman Mike Bottjer said: "We continue to strengthen the long-term earnings platform and growth potential for the business with the proposed actions today."

Interserve announced the appointment of two non-executive directors. These are David Trapnell, currently a non-executive director with The Royal Mint, and Nicholas Keegan, finance director of events firm Evenser Group.