A loss on the disposal of AtoZ food supplies takes shine off positive year for public services provider Accord.

Pre-tax profit at Accord fell from £2.1m to £1.3m for the year ended June 2004 after the public services provider made a loss disposing of its AtoZ food supplies business.

Turnover increased by 8% to £260.5m although Accord said that the figure would have been £247.9m if the turnover of the food business had been taken out. Operating profit for the period was up 22% to £6.1m.

Chief executive Stelio Stefanou said: “Our success in responding to the public service reform agenda is reflected in our excellent customer retention record and our strong financial performance over the past year.”

In its property services division improvements in efficiency and increased revenue from clients turned an operating loss of £0.6m into a profit of £2.5m. Turnover increased by 72% to £69.1m largely due to the first full year of a housing maintenance contract with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Accord provides highway, property, environmental and business and technical services for mainly public sector clients.

Major contracts secured during the year included renewal of housing and repair services with South Bedfordshire District Council worth up to £10m over five years and renewal of highways maintenance with Staffordshire County Councils worth £100m over five years.