Group revenue for the half-year period to 30 June was £92.6m, up from £85.7m last year. But profits before taxation plumetted to £1.4m from £3.2m, although the company said that it has been reluctant to become involved in bidding wars.
In the short term, there continues to be immense pressure on margins, it said, with the number of bidders for projects remaining excessively high in many instances, leading to the project being awarded at an unsustainable level.
Chief executive Mark Lawrence said: “Our core markets remain challenging. However, we are delighted to have been appointed on a number of the largest and most significant commercial and office development projects in the UK. But given the increased levels of competition across the market, margins remain under pressure. The group is very active in tendering for work, but we will not be drawn into accepting projects where we cannot meet our financial expectations.
"We have positioned the business to weather the current market environment. The positive steps we have taken to broaden the range of services that we are able to offer have been successful and our recent acquisitions are making a very useful contribution to the Group, which remains cash positive. However we remain cautious about the timing of recovery in our core markets.
The group has seen no improvement in the trading environment and does not expect to see any significant improvement in the short term. It expects underlying earnings for the second half to be at a similar level to that of the first six months.
The forward order book is £193m - compared with £220m at 30 June 2010 - of which £69m is scheduled for completion this year.