Pre-tax profits fall of 22% blamed on challenging markets and problems with a large contract

T Clarke’s expansion plans received a setback today as results from last year revealed a 22% drop in pre-tax profits.

The building services contractor said problems with a single large contract in Scotland affected its performance. In 2009 the firm accrued pre-tax profits of £7.3m, decreasing to £5.7m in 2010.

Revenues however edged up 2% from £175.5m to £179m last year. The firm also invested £17m in two strategic acquisitions last year - D&S Engineering facilities and DGR. According to the company both are trading in line with expectations.

Mark Lawrence, group chief executive, said: “The market that we operate in has continued to be challenging. However, we have made good progress to reposition the group to enable us to offer a wider range of services to our clients.

“Both our recent acquisitions have made a useful contribution to the group’s performance.”

Russell Race, group chairman, said: “Operating profits in London and the North held up well under the pressures which the entire construction sector faced during 2010.

“Our Scottish subsidiary encountered difficulties with a specific large contract. It also had to bear the brunt of the bad weather in December when many sites were forced to close for a considerable period.”