T Clarke has posted a pre-tax profit of £6.8m for the year ending 31 December 2009, down almost half on the £13.4m reported in the previous year.
The M&E specialist was hit by £1.9m of bad debts (£2008: £1.5m), after a number of its customers went into administration. It also incurred restructuring costs of £1.4m (2008: £400,000).
Turnover was also down at £178m, compared to the £220m posted a year ago.
T Clarke has net cash of £23.2m, a 24% reduction on 2008’s figure of £30.4m.
Its order book stands at £160m, identical to the previous year’s figure, and the contractor said it has a further £40m-worth of contracts under negotiation.
T Clarke performed strongest in its regional businesses, which delivered revenue of £109.8m (2008: £118m) and increased operating profit of £3.2m (2008: £2.4m).
It has restructured its regions into three divisions – South, North, and Scotland – after selling its Kestrel subsidiary during October, and winding down GDI.
T Clarke’s London business was badly hit by the struggling commercial sector, with revenue dropping to £67.1 (2008: £102.1m), and operating profit down by more than two-thirds at £2.9m (2008: £9.8m).
The firm also announced the acquisition of Accrington-based D&S (Engineering Facilities) for a cash consideration of £11.6m.
Mark Lawrence, chief executive officer, said: “The year has proved to be challenging, but the group is in good shape. I am pleased that we have maintained our leading position in many of our markets, despite increased competition and pressure on margins. Financially the group is in good shape with a significant cash balance at the year end. This has given us the resources to consider further opportunities to grow by acquisition.
“The acquisition of D&S widens the range of services we can offer clients. It will give us the platform from which we can build a broader national facilities management business that compliments our existing activities.
“Looking forward, there are some signs of a recovery in commercial property markets. In London we are encouraged by a number of new projects getting underway, which could lead to good opportunities. Our order book is robust with some very encouraging prospects to grow from here. We are looking to the future with cautious optimism.”