Contractor's turnover is down 40% on back of redundancy and reorganisation costs

North-east based contractor Tolent posted a plunge in pre-tax profit for the first six months of this year and gave a gloomy assessment of the sector's future.

Pre tax profit came in at £110,000, down from £1.1m for the same period last year, while turnover plummeted almost 40% to £50m.

Amid the sharp downturn in construction activity Tolent has been forced to lay off a number of staff and the company was hit with redundancy and reorganisation costs of £560,000.

Tolent, which carries out building and civil engineering work across the UK, said: “Conditions remain extremely challenging with stiff competition for new work giving rise to pressure on pricing and margins.

“Although we are encouraged by recent signs of an increase in the level of enquiries for 2010, funding remains an issue for many potential developments. Accordingly there remains a requirement to secure further workload.”