James R Knowles, a construction consultant that is listed on the alternative investment market, issued a profit warning on Tuesday that sent its share price down almost 30%.

The shares dropped 15p to 37.5p after the announcement, ahead of its annual results on 12 October.

A statement said: “Unexpected weak trading in the USA and East Asia, particularly in July, coupled with the unforeseen suspension of several major commissions will significantly affect the group’s profitability in the financial year ending 31 July 2004.”

Chairman Roger Knowles said: “We didn’t work as hard as we could have done in some markets.” However, he said that prospects were good in the UK and the United Arab Emirates.

The statement said that although an interim dividend of 0.8p had been paid, the board was not expecting to recommend a final dividend for this year.