M&E specialist reports full-year loss, but says problem contracts were resolved last year

Electrical wiring

M&E contractor T Clarke has reported a £700,000 full-year pre-tax loss due to two problem contracts, in mixed results for the 2014 calendar year.

T Clarke’s profitability for the period was dragged down by costs on two problem contracts, as flagged in a profit warning last October - a damages claim on a contract acquired with one of its subsidiaries and a protacted final account settlement on a contract in its ‘mission critical’ division. Today the firm said both problem contracts were resolved in 2014.

The pre-tax loss compared to a £1.7m pre-tax profit the previous year. Underlying pre-tax profit - which strips out exceptional costs - dropped to £0.7m in 2014, down from £2.6m the previous year.

T Clarke posted record revenue and order book figures for 2014, with a 5% rise in revenue to £227.5m, up from £217.1m, while its order book was north of £300m.

T Clarke chairman David Henderson said that aside from the problem contracts “it was a successful year” and the firm was taking advantage of “slowly improving conditions”.

He added: “In the second half of the year, you could say ‘the decks were cleared for action’ - and we saw action in the shape of a series of significant contract wins in London and also, though less widely reported at the time, across the rest of the UK.”

Contracts secured during the year included packages of work on three BBC studios at Television Centre in west London, office building 10 Fenchurch Street in central London, the Lyell building for Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh and projects for South Nottinghamshire Academy and Sheffield College.

The firm restored a dividend payment to shareholders that it cut last August, meaning the total dividend for the year will be 3.1p.

Chief executive Mark Lawrence said: “With a record order book and early signs of margins beginning to improve the board looks forward to 2015 and beyond with renewed confidence.”