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Profits fall at builder Dunne as orders hit £156m

BUILDING contractor Dunne Group said it has maintained a resilient position across key markets in the year ending October 2013, and has lined up an order book value of £156 million for 2014 and 2015.

Director: Graham Dunne of building contractor Dunne Group said he and fellow director Kevin Graham were "satisfied" with this year's performance.
Director: Graham Dunne of building contractor Dunne Group said he and fellow director Kevin Graham were "satisfied" with this year's performance.

The Bathgate-based company's directors made the statements in a Companies House filing in which the firm also recorded a year-over-year drop in profit, falling to £1.8m, from £2.1m in 2012.

This compares to a £1.7m pre-tax profit in the year to October 2011, swinging from a loss of £83,076 in the year to October 2010.

In the latest filing, directors Gordon Dunne and Kevin Graham, who did not recommend paying an ordinary dividend, said they were "satisfied" with the year's performance. "The business has maintained a strong position across its key markets with recent success in delivering quality buildings across the UK and Ireland," they stated.

Dunne Group reported turnover of £39.4m, including about £35.3m in the UK and about £4.2m in Europe. This total is down from an overall figure of £40.2m in the prior year, which all related to the UK. The two directors credited the group's regional coverage across the UK as being key, underpinning the business' overall strategy.

They also said the continued development of its London facility, which opened in 2012, has been "a key strategic success as we expand our order book within the south of England".

Current projects for company, which also has premises in Leeds, include prestigious development 100 Bishopsgate in the City, in partnership with main contractor Brookfield Multiplex Europe Ltd. Furthermore the group worked on the London 2012 Olympic Village and a group company provided reinforced concrete for the Shard development in the UK capital.

Dunne is also involved in a three-year £110m construction contract at the new South Glasgow Hospital campus, set for completion in 2015, providing a concrete frame for the main acute building. The business was also the main contractor for the Maggie's Centre at Gartnavel Hospital.

Looking ahead to new projects, according to the filing the firm has £74m of projects at preferred bid stage.

Dunne, which was established in 2001, posted a £42,571 profit on the disposal of fixed assets, from a loss of £29,530 in 2012, with a £110,600 unrealised surplus on revaluation of properties. Its total assets less current liabilities reached £14.1m, up from £10.5m.

Net debt reached £7.5m, from £3.3m in the prior year. In the year ending 2010 the figure was £13.4m, down from £10.3m in the prior year.

Its average number of employees including directors in the year was 331, up from 323 in 2012. It had been greater than 1200 before the recession.

The UK construction sector was hit hard by the recession of 2008/09, and its aftermath.

Mr Dunne said in 2011 that the company had been "lucky" in avoiding major bad debts related to big construction industry players going under, also noting that it had pursued "more profitable jobs, and more negotiated work".

In the latest filing he and Mr Graham said the business' main risks and uncertainties "arise from the general economic conditions".

They added: "We will continue with the strategy of focusing on the selection of high quality opportunities which best complement our skill sets and technical expertise.

"Key wins within the health, energy, residential, retail and commercial sectors drive our focus going forward to ensure we continue to invest in our management and support infrastructure whilst developing the strengths of our team and client relationships across the UK.

"This robust approach will ensure we continue our strong performance whilst underpinning our financial strength to meet new challenges ahead."

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