Profits fall 23% to £6.88m but electrical firm predicts upswing in market through 2005 and 2006.

Profit at electrical engineering and contracting firm T. Clarke has fallen 23% in the last year.

T. Clarke blamed pressure on trading margins and goodwill charges for a decrease in pre-tax profit from £8.94 to £6.88m for the year ended 31 December 2004.

Turnover rose from £143m to £157m mainly through acquisitions which included the takeover of Smith Contracting Services in Scotland.

T. Clarke said that order levels had picked up in the second half of the year but added that they wouldn’t be reflected in sales and profits until the latter half of 2005. It said that the benefits of the current upturn in the current business cycle would be felt over the next two years and would peak in 2006.

Chief Executive Pat Stanborough said: “We are very confident that we are well positioned to gain from the increase in demand in our core markets in London and the South East.”

“We have started 2005 brightly. The order book continues to grow and our regional businesses are reporting brisk trading.”

The firm remain optimistic about their prospects for 2005 due to a high-volume of new long-term projects planned.