The fit-out firm plans to expand by 10-15%, following a 29% drop in turnover

Fit-out firm Styles & Wood plans to bolster its headcount by 10-15% over the next year as it aims to turn the corner under new management, following a 29% drop in turnover.

New chief executive Tony Lenehan said that the current workforce of 240-250 will expand as the firm looks to take on more “staff intensive” work.

In results released to the City last week, the firm announced that losses had shrunk from £1.8m to £703,000 during 2010.

The announcement was the first major financial milestone since the departure of Ivan McKeever at the end of the year and his replacement by former Bovis Lend Lease regional director Lenehan.

The company issued a turnover warning last year, saying that it would shrink to £95-100m during the year. The final figure came to £99.1m, down from £139.3m in 2009, but the firm insisted that trading had been much stronger in the second half of the year.

“Some £59m came in in the second half of the year,” said Lenehan.

He said the company had stripped away a layer of management over the past three months, resulting in one redundancy and other staff being redeployed around the business.

Redundancy costs for McKeever and the recruitment of Lenehan racked up £295,000, while interest on preference shares cost £0.9m.