Fit-out contractor blames investments in new sectors and market contraction in first half for loss

tony lenehan

Fit-out contractor Styles & Wood has reported a £515,000 loss for the financial year to 31 December 2013, blaming exceptional investments in new sectors including energy and the public sector and contraction in the industry during the first half of the year.

The firm unveiled its results as it announced plans to transfer its listing from the main London Stock Exchange list to its sub-market for small firms, AIM.

Styles & Wood said the move would be beneficial due to the lower regulatory requirements on AIM and will seek shareholder approval for the move at its annual general meeting on 28 May.

Chairman Jim Martin will retire when the firm lists on AIM and will be replaced by fellow board member Paul Mitchell.

The firm said retendering of frameworks by its three biggest clients, all in the retail banking sector, disrupted its trading. All three banking frameworks were extended for between two and four years.

The firm reported its pre-tax loss after making an £806,000 profit in 2012. Without exceptional items the firm made an underlying pre-tax profit of £664,000, down from £2m the previous year.

Revenue also fell 4% to £94m, down from £97.9m the previous year.

Chief executive Tony Lenehan (pictured) said the firm delivered “much stronger profit” in the second half of the year and said the firm’s order book is up on last year.

Lenehan added: “The proposed move to AIM is considered by the board to be more appropriate for the group and in the best interests of the shareholders in potentially providing a greater degree of corporate flexibility and a more attractive proposition for investors.”