Board proposes renaming contractor Renew Group after sale of Bullock "transforms" financial position.

Contractor Montpellier returned to the black in the year to the end of September, the company revealed today.

The company made a £1.2m pre-tax profit during the year, compared with a £6.9m loss last year.

Chairman Roy Harrison said that the sale of its main social housing business, Bullock Construction, to the management team for £42.2m “transformed our financial position and after a thorough review we have every confidence that the group’s legacy contract exposures are a thing of the past.”

The sale generated £18m of cash for Montpellier.

Turnover at the company actually dropped by £4m to £455m. The board recommended a modest dividend of 0.2p, although no dividend was paid out last year.

Montpellier is hoping to transform itself after a difficult year last year by appointing new chief executive Brian May. The board has also proposed that the company change its name to Renew Group, to be voted for by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting in January.

Last July the company pulled out of the construction of Oxford University’s £18m controversial animal laboratory after members of its staff were threatened by animal rights activists.