Turnover at rail specialist Jarvis fell 44% from £203m to £115m in the six months to 16 October, with the company plunging to a £5.8m loss

The loss compared to a profit of £4.4m for the equivalent period last year and followed £2.3m of restructuring costs linked to the loss of 15% of its workforce (450 people).

The poor figures follow reduced and delayed levels of work from its principal client Network Rail. Steven Norris, chair at the company, said: “Reducing our dependency on Network Rail is a key objective of the business and an important way of ensuring we deliver future volume improvements and a healthier business as a result.”

Net debt stood at £22.3m at the half-year end, which was down 36% from £34.6m in 2008.