FIFE construction business Muir Group lost some of the ground it had gained the previous year in the 12 months to the end of January, with a slowdown in development opportunities impacting on the firm’s top and bottom lines.

Turnover, which had jumped by 39 per cent to £74.7 million in the previous year, fell back by 12% to £65.4m.

Pre-tax profits, meanwhile, which had already reduced by 9% to £4m, fell by a further 17.5% to £3.3m.

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Writing in the firm’s accounts, which were filed at Companies House this week, finance director John Watt said the reduction in turnover “was principally down to lower construction and development opportunities with a steady level of housebuilding activities”.

While turnover from the group’s private housing arm remained broadly unchanged at £29.5m, its contracting arm experienced a 17% dip, from £36.2m to £30m.

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Turnover from the group’s much smaller property development arm also fell significantly, more than halving from £4.3m to £1.9m.

That said, both the private housing and contracting businesses were profitable, while the development arm went from making a pre-tax profit of £884,000 to a making a loss of £139,000.

Looking ahead, Mr Watt said that the business will continue to be exposed to a planning system that he called “unpredictable and torpid”.