A building company has described its performance as "satisfactory" for the year ended January 2013 after posting a dramatic plunge in profits and turnover.
Last month Hall Construction reached number 177 in The Journal’s Top 200 after seeing a small lift in revenues between 2011 and 2012, from £31.5m to £34.2m, but the following year’s accounts, just filed at Companies House, show a large drop in sales.
The County Durham-based company has seen its sales drop by £10.9m to £23.3m for the 12-month period to the end of this January, a significant fall of 32% year-on-year, and its £1.6m profit has also halved to £770,225. The company also saw its workforce shrink from 188 to 185 during the period.
The family-run firm, headquartered in Rushyford, has been in operation for more than 30 years but recent years has seen its fortunes suffer as the construction sector bore the brunt of the economic crisis.
Established in 1974, the business originally centred on earth removal but it decided to move into the industrial sector as a way of growing the business. Diversifying led to a growth in sales from £25m in 2005 to £46m in 2009, with the help of a series of large contracts.
The firm is now involved in major sports stadia, industrial and distribution schemes, business and office parks, infrastructure, highways, earthworks, site reclamation and enabling works, mineral extraction and processing and house building, but the slow down in the construction sector affected last year’s financials.
The director’s report accompanying the annual accounts said: “The directors report results to be in line with expectations and consider the financial position at the year end to be satisfactory. The company mainly trades with long-standing customers, the nature of these relationships assist management in controlling its credit risk.”
The firm was last year involved in the preparation of the former Scottish & Newcastle brewery site for the Science Central development where, as well as earth-moving and levelling, the contractor discovered coal in shallow seams. The firm’s part in the Science City project was reported to be worth £3m, and to have also received the benefit of the extracted coal.