Scaling back of schemes shrinks contractor’s order book

Mechanical and electrical contractor T.Clarke has announced to the City that it is trading in line with expectations but that its order book had dropped by £40m since the summer.

The group, which appointed Martin Walton as its group finance director at the end of last month, said that its order book had declined from £220m in June this year to £180m.

“Whilst we have seen no cancellation of work already won, a few schemes have been scaled back,” it stated.

“We continue to have a positive cash balance and no debt. Trading during the period was as anticipated and, we expect results for the full year to be broadly in line with market expectation.”

However, it said it expected margins to be squeezed over the next year.

“The markets in which we operate remain challenging and competitive and, margins remain under some pressure.

“The Board believes that 2011 will be a challenging year, and will remain vigilant on costs as a result, but expects recent strategic acquisitions, a good order book and the Group’s diversity to maintain the business in good shape,” it said.