After three years of explosive growth, fit-out firm settles into 7% profit rise on turnover down to £44.8m.
Miletrian, one of the 10 fastest-growing unlisted companies in the UK, raised pre-tax profit 7% last year on turnover down 28%.

Sales figures for the the fit-out and refurbishment contractor fell from £59.7m to £44.8m for the year to 31 March 1999, marking an end to three years of explosive growth. Turnover at the family-owned firm had grown almost 600% from £9.98m in 1996, taking it into the Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100.

The company said the fall in sales was because it had completed a large job with one of its biggest partnered clients, investment bank Warburg Dillon Read.

Operating profit fell 12% to £1.15m, but the company received more than £390 000 in interest payments. This raised pre-tax profit to £1.5m.

The company, whose core contracting business does much of its work for blue-chip City of London clients such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Swiss Bank Corporation, expects turnover to stay flat for the year to 31 March 2000.

Finance director John Daly said this was in line with the business plan. He said: "We are not interested in chasing turnover." Director Stuart McConnachie said the firm was expanding its client base and wanted to fund some projects through private finance initiative or public-private partnership routes.

"We are having extensive discussions with the Ministry of Defence on projects at the smaller end of the market from barracks to officers' messes," he said.

A strategic review is under way that will include a decision on whether to float the company. However, McConnachie said the main focus of the review would be on the company's market positioning. "There are so many indicators that say new-build is not a good market," he said. "So we need to identify where the niche markets are and how we can fit into them." Miletrian has appointed Stuart Maynard business development director. Maynard was formerly business development director for Jarvis' southern construction division. It has also taken on Greg Murray as construction manager. Murray joined from Costain, where he played a key role in the £60m Deutsche Bank headquarters project.