Rail specialist's redundancy costs of £8.1m and closure of container haulage arm cut into 7% increase in turnover

Jarvis has posted a £6.3m loss in the year to 31 March 2009 and announced that chief executive Richard Entwistle will retire in September.

The rail specialist, which has suffered as a result of Network Rail’s decision to delay track renewal and enhancement work last year, fell into the red as a result of £8.1m redundancy costs that will see 450 people leave the company, cutting the workforce by 15% from 2,930 to 2,480.

It also took a £2.2m hit as a result of shutting its container haulage business.

Entwistle, 56, will be replaced by current chief operating officer Stuart Laird who is the same age.

Chairman Steven Norris said: “Richard has performed resolutely throughout what has been a very tough period for the company. Under his leadership we have worked our way through some major challenges and the business is in better shape than it has been for many years.”

Turnover grew 7% from £321.9m to £345.8m and the company reduced net debt from £38.8m to £21.5m.

Last week it extended its banking facilities to 31 January 2011 and Norris said prospects for the company beyond 2010 were bright.

“The current economic conditions and Network Rail's decision to delay works created a difficult trading environment in the second half of the year under review and this is expected to continue through 2009-10. The prospects beyond that appear much more promising.”