Costs of closure push Galliford to pounds 6m loss

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A pounds 3m PROVISION to close a loss-making contracting business sent Galliford, the housebuilding and construction group, into a pounds 6m loss for the year to June. Despite dipping into reserves for the second year running, however, the dividend was maintained, writes Tom Stevenson.

Continuing losses from pipeline cleaning wiped out the rest of the group's profit of pounds 160,000, struck from sales of pounds 209m. After a sharp deterioration in trading during wet weather in February the decision was taken to close the business.

The pre-tax loss of pounds 5.84m compared with a pounds 254,000 profit in the year to June 1993. There was a loss per share of 5.04p (0.33p profit). A final dividend of 0.5p made a full year total of 1p.

General construction also had a poor year, with last year's pounds 408,000 profit turned into a pounds 2.41m loss. George Marsh, managing director, warned that margins in civil engineering and building would remain depressed for some time.

Housebuilding and building supplies both improved, with a 31 per cent rise in completions contributing to a profit of pounds 2.03m ( pounds 1.58m). Supplies reversed last year's loss of pounds 717,000 into a pounds 447,000 profit. The shares closed 7p lower at 27p.