Rok Property Solutions plans to take on an extra 300-400 staff this year as part of its expansion plans.

Chief executive Garvis Snook said the firm, which has 32 branches, aims to have 75-100 branches by 2008-2010.

Snook, who announced the results for the financial year ending 31 December, also said that ROK would be making more acquisitions this year.

It was not all good news. Rok closed its components division, Spaceage, based in Poole, Dorset, after failing to sell the business.

Turnover had dropped 24% to £5m, and the closure of the business led to a total loss of £4.1m.

“That hurt,” said Snook. “It was sad for the employees, but it was best for the business overall. It was becoming a distraction.”

Overall pre-tax profit rose 21% to £13.9m. The Rok Property Solutions business is now focused on three divisions: Rok, the construction and building division; Rokeagle, the property development arm; and Rokforce, the maintenance arm. Operating profit at Rok rose 31% to £8.9m and turnover increased 34% to £402.1m.

Average net debt during the year increased from £9.5m in 2003 to £17.1m last year. Rok raised the total dividend 31% to 8.4p.