Contractor Warings fell into the red in 2007 with a pre-tax loss of £161,000 on the back of £81m turnover.

In 2006 it made a pre-tax profit of £863,000 on £127m turnover.

According to Len Salter, its chief executive, the group, which was bought by French contractor Bouygues for a reported £30m in December, capped its activity levels in the year to 30 April 2007 for two reasons.

He said it had to focus on the completion of two difficult contracts worth a combined £50m. They were a residential scheme in Swindon and Mercedes Benz World in Surrey. One source said the problems on the Surrey scheme were the result of an inflexible budget.

Over the year the group also carried out extensive restructuring, which meant it stopped bidding on deals.