The previous year's results were distorted by pounds 86.8m of write-downs and the cost of closing its US steel business. This year, the write- downs were confined to a pounds 1.7m charge on some investment properties and it was able to claw back provisions from some contracts.
Colin Parsons, chairman, said the results reflected the benefits of the group's restructuring programme, which has cut pounds 20m from operating costs and cost 150 jobs in 1993. 'I am confident our reconstruction period is largely complete,' he added.
Contracting turned in a pounds 1.3m profit, compared with a pounds 61.3m loss last time. The 1993 results were helped by the settlement of the Great Storebaelt dam contract in Denmark, which should bring benefits this year. Mr Parsons said the division would be on 'the right side of the profit line' in 1994. The order book at the year-end was down 13 per cent to pounds 727m because the group refused to take on unprofitable work.
Housing made a pounds 9m profit compared with a pounds 26.1m loss after write- downs. The group sold 2,769 houses last year - a 31 per cent increase - 1,087 of them in Britain.
Earnings per share were 4.1p, compared with a 22.4p loss. The final dividend is increased by 0.5p to 1p, making 1.5p (1p) for the year.Reuse content