Byrne Group has suffered another year of losses after problem projects secured by fit-out arm Chorus and builder Ellmer took their toll.
While profits at the core concrete business trebled to £6m in the year to March 2016, the conclusion of several loss-making contracts secured by fit-out arm Chorus and builder Ellmer ran up losses of £14.6m
This saw the group suffer an overall pre-tax loss of £11.9m after falling £4m into the red in the previous year.
During the year Chorus achieved completion certificates on its three remaining loss-making contracts in London.
Byrne Group will now seek to recover cash from an under-performing M&E contractor that caused delay on one of the projects.
A year of strong orders saw Byrne Group lift turnover by 10% to £329m, with work starting on London’s Shell Centre redevelopment, an extension for retailer Westfield at Shepherd Bush and the redevelopment of the former BBC TV Centre in West London.
Chief executive Micheal Byrne said that the performance of underlying businesses demonstrated the operating profitability of the group going forward.
“As part of the recovery strategy, we strengthened our commercial procedures and established a dedicated team to manage out the legacy contracts within the Chorus business.
“Non-core businesses have been disposed of and the sale and lease back of our corporate headquarters was completed.
“These moves have given the group a strong base to move forward from, reducing debt and strengthening the balance sheet.”
He said that at year-end Byrne group had net positive cash of £9.9m, an increase of £14.3m in the year.
Byrne Bros, the specialist concrete frame business, raised sales by a quarter to £185m achieving an operating margin of 3.2%.
Ellmer, the refurbishment and building specialist business, achieved sales of £85m but the bottom line was hit by two-loss making contracts resulting in a loss of £2.5m.