Family-owned M&E contractor NG Bailey has moved back into the black despite a 23% fall in annual turnover to £464m from £600m

The firm posted a pre-tax profit of £19.9m in the year to 26 February 2010, compared to a loss of £10.8m in 2009. The result was thanks to a £6.7m profit on its investment portfolio and a number of projects coming to a close.

Nimble Thompson, chairman of NG Bailey, said: “Although the results are extremely pleasing, this level of profit is unlikely to be repeated in the near future and indeed we approach the market with caution, as the recession continues to bite.”

He said the current financial year had started poorly, adding: “The next couple of years will be more challenging and we do not expect significant sales growth.”

During the year to February 2010, the company reduced its workforce by 7% to 3,136 people. It also closed its final-salary pension scheme. Chief executive Mark Andrews left in October 2009, two months after the firm announced the £10.8m loss.

NG Bailey’s new chief executive David Hurcomb, former executive director of Carillion, starts work next month.

According to the firm’s 2009 report, Andrews took home £896,000 last year, which included a pay-off of £574,000.