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Pochin's suffers £4.4m interim loss

26 Jan 10 Cheshire-based developer and contractor Pochin’s has posted a pre-tax loss of £4.4m for the six months ended 30 November 2009.

Cheshire-based developer and contractor Pochin’s has posted a pre-tax loss of £4.4m for the six months ended 30 November 2009.

Turnover was down slightly at £47.5m on the same period a year earlier, (2008: £49.9m).

Almost all of the loss was down to property-related impairments, totalling £4.23m

Chairman Richard Fildes said: “Subdued levels of construction activity and weakness in the occupational market for commercial property continue to affect the Group's performance.

“The recent exceptional weather conditions have exacerbated the weakness in construction activity such that the Group's trading divisions are unlikely to show an improvement in the second half of the year.

“No improvement in the concrete pumping market can be reported and the Group continues to sustain damaging losses from this activity.”

In commercial property, Pochin’s rental income from its core portfolio increased during the period. However, its joint ventures have proved “less satisfactory”.

A re-assessment of value of one of the large jointly-held development sites has been necessary and, in another location, Pochin's is being required to support a joint venture where continuing voids in a completed development are proving painfully persistent.

“Write-downs associated with the joint ventures referred to above account for almost all of the loss reported for the period,” said Fildes.  “Group costs remain under tight control with further reductions in overheads being delivered.  Net borrowings have fallen during the period.

“After such a dramatic collapse in the values of commercial property combined with the well publicised contraction in available credit for the industry, it is difficult to forecast an early return to the levels of development and construction activity of two years ago,” Fildes concluded.

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