Rail contractor beats City expectations by posting £11.1m pre-tax profit and 12% jump in turnover

Jarvis has returned to the black and beaten City expectations in the year ended 31 March 2008.

Pre-tax profit was £11.1m compared with a loss of £21.7m last year, beating the consensus forecast of £5.5m.

Turnover increased 12% from £288.5m to £321.9m, thanks to a strong second half of the year.

Steven Norris, Jarvis chairman

Chairman Steven Norris said: “The period just ended was a significant milestone for the new Jarvis and we have achieved the best result for five years. This result, our performance to date and the increasing opportunities within the rail market allow us to look forward to the year to come with confidence.”

Turnover from its rail operations increased 45% from £142.3m to £206.3m, while its plant division made £53.4m – 21% down on last year’s figure of £68m.

Norris said the group was well-placed to take advantage of the “significant opportunities” in the UK rail market given that spending levels were at an “unprecedented high”.

Jarvis has suffered from reputational and financial difficulties since the Potters Bar train derailment in May 2002, for which it accepted liability on behalf of the industry. It subsequently got into difficulties by bidding for PFI contracts that analysts said it didn’t have the capacity to fulfil.

There has also been recent speculation it would be taken over given its weak share price. The group has failed to rule out a sale and said it was considering all strategic options.