M&E contractor hit by £1.9m of bad debt, but says it was a ‘credible performance in a challenging market’

Profits at M&E contractor T Clarke have been hit by £1.9m of bad debt, falling from £13.4m to £6.8m in 2009.

Turnover was also down, from £220m to £178m in what the company called a “creditable performance” against the “backdrop of a very challenging market”.

In relation to the bad debt, the company statement said: “While our regional business performed well its results for the year were impacted by bad debt. We carefully assess our credit risk but in these uncertain times this is challenging, particularly where established contractors' bankers and other providers of finance take increasingly demanding and short term views.”

The company also announced the acquisition of Lancashire-based engineering facilities management business D&S (Engineering Facilities) for up to £11.6m.

Cenkos analyst Kevin Cammack said of the deal: “It looks quite positive and should be immediately enhancing.”

Mark Lawrence, chief executive, said: “Looking forward, there are some signs of a recovery in commercial property markets. In London we are encouraged by a number of new projects getting underway, which could lead to good opportunities. In the regions we have restructured the management of our operations which should improve the performance in the future.”