Asbestos removal specialist Silverdell has returned to profit for the six months ending March 2010.
The firm reported a pre-tax profit of £599,000 compared to a loss of £6.4m for the corresponding period a year ago. Its gross margin increased from 23.6% to 25%.
Revenues were flat at £29.6m (H1 2009: £29.7m).
Silverdell's net debt has been cut to £5.8m compared to £13.7m a year ago, and its orderbook climbed 5% to £60m (31 Oct 2009: £57m).
The firm also announced a new strategy 'Protecting Lives, Creating Value'. It aims to grow the order book “ahead of organic revenue growth”, and expland the consulting business to 15% of group revenues. Silverdell added it expected to achieve this through a combination of organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions.
The firm's executive chairman is former Costain boss Stuart Doughty, who joined the asbestos removal outfit a year ago.
He said: "The last six months has seen Silverdell continue to strengthen its position as the UK's leading asbestos remediation business. We have re-established effective financial controls, substantially reduced the debt and improved cohesion in the Group by redefining a number of senior management roles.
"This progress has been made against the backdrop of tough market conditions, particularly for the construction sector, and reinforces management's view that Silverdell is now firmly positioned as a service partner, rather than a contractor, to a wide range of customers.
“This progress has enabled us to undertake a complete review of the business. We now feel able to announce a new strategy aimed at maximising our position in a market driven by legislation, regulation and an increasing awareness of the implications of asbestos still found in the majority of buildings not only in the UK but worldwide.
"We remain positive about the Group's outlook, although the overall economy will continue to be challenging."