Troubled rail engineer Jarvis has reduced its losses by £30m since last year, despite being hit by a slowdown in contracts.

The firm reported a loss of £22m in preliminary results for the year to April 2007, compared with a £51m loss the previous year. Operating profit before non-recurring costs fell from £10.5m to £3.9m.

Steven Norris, Jarvis’ executive chairman, said this reflected a downturn in rail activity, alongside its withdrawal from construction. During the year, Jarvis completed its remaining construction contracts and sold its loss-making Prismo Road Markings business.

Norris said that the turnaround was on track. He said: “Jarvis has been able to achieve some significant milestones in the business strategy laid out in our annual general meeting statement last year, despite an industry-wide downturn in rail and plant volumes in the period.” Norris also insisted that Jarvis had a “perfectly viable future” even if it fails to be appointed as one of the four track renewal contractors selected by Network Rail.

A decision on this is due to be made in August and commentators have speculated that Jarvis would struggle to continue if it were not one of the chosen contractors.

Turnover dropped 13% to £307m, down from £354m last year.