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Sat October 24 2020

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Tolent turnover returns

18 Sep Northeast construction contractor Tolent has seen turnover fluctuate in recent years but now reckons that it is in its strongest commercial position in years despite having just reported losses.

Chief executive Andy McLeod
Chief executive Andy McLeod

Turnover bounced back to £175m in 2019, latest accounts show, and the 2020 order book is worth more than £190m.

Tolent’s 2019 turnover was up 30% on 2018’s £133m; but it had been £178m in 2017.

However, profits were hit by the closure of southern England operations, which contributed £28m to turnover last year but damaged the bottom line.

Tolent made a pre-tax loss of £859,000 in 2019 (2018: £1.8m profit). Excluding the losses in the south of England, the continuing operations made a £3.5m profit before tax.

The contractor currently has 45 live sites across the country, including an £11m civils project for propane storage in Teesside, the £26m Hadrian’s Tower in Newcastle, a £23m build-to-rent development in Leeds and the £84m Milburngate site in Durham.

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It is also seeing steady growth in the residential market, particularly with social housing.

Including work completed this year and secured work into 2023, Tolent is set to deliver around 3,000 new homes covering both the private and public sector across the northeast and Yorkshire. It’s landmark £120m South Seaham Garden Village development will also start work next year, with 1,500 new homes and facilities.

The £190m order book includes £15m worth of work to reclad hospitals and student accommodation buildings.

However, last year Tolent decided to close its operations in the south of England. Chief executive Andy McLeod explained:  “The region had been under review for some time as a result of disappointing performances over a number of years and whilst the decision to close the business has significantly impacted our financial performance in 2019, this will ultimately benefit the wider business as it now allows us to build upon our already outstanding reputation within the northeast and Yorkshire and continue to explore new opportunities and new locations to grow.”

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