Evidence of the pain felt by mid-sized contractors was apparent this week as three firms posted falls in turnover and profit

Off-site specialist Caledonian posted the smallest drop, with turnover down from £139.7m to £135.3m in the year to 3 January.

In a statement the company said: “The construction sector weakened during the second half of 2008 as the availability of finance for projects dried up. The market for off-site construction followed this trend.”

Pre-tax profit at the company fell 22% from £12.5m to £9.8m and the basic pay of the highest paid director fell from £150,000 to £106,000.

Eric Wright Group, the north-west England construction firm, posted a pre-tax loss of £1.6m in 2008 after a writedown of £4.9m on its commercial and residential assets.

Turnover at the company fell almost a third from £164.3m to £117.2m. In relation to its construction arm it said: “Winning work in a deteriorating market proved extremely difficult.”

Finally, Scottish firm Dawn Construction suffered a 21% fall in turnover from £83.5m to £65.7m in the year to 31 January 2009. Pre-tax profit fell 29% to £8.7m.