Pre-tax profit at Shepherd Group has almost halved after a £14m hit on a delayed scheme in Nottingham.

In the year to 30 June 2008, the figure fell 46% from £42.2m to £22.9m despite a 5% increase in turnover from £685m to £718m. It pushed the construction division £1m into the red on the back of turnover of about £323m.

The £47m Trinity Square project in Nottingham, which was to provide accommodation for students at Nottingham Trent university, was built for developer Helical Bar. The final phase had been scheduled for completion in October 2007 but was handed over this summer.

In the same week as news of the loss emerged in October, former chief executive Vaughan Burnand left the company.

Alan Fletcher, chairman of Shepherd Group, said: “Performance on most jobs was satisfactory but a major loss arose on one contract. Changes have been made at the business to strengthen the team and to reinforce the culture of risk management.”

Shepherd’s property arm made a loss of £6.6m on turnover of £50m. Its manufacturing division, which includes Portakabin, made a pre-tax profit of £31.2m on turnover of £225m; its engineering division made £2.5m, its best ever result, on turnover of £122m.