Building services specialist T Clarke rides out lockdown and eyes £2m half-year profit

Building services specialist T Clarke is forecasting a £2m profit in the first half of this year despite site closures in the coronavirus outbreak.

The firm this morning said that it had enjoyed strong trading in the first three months of 2020 and expected to break even in the lockdown-hit second quarter.

With a profit forecast for the first half, TClarke said it was now recommending a full dividend payment to shareholders.

Mark Lawrence, CEO, said the firm had taken swift restructuring action to cut costs, which would save £2.4m this year and lead to future annual savings of £4m.

He said TClarke had maintained a net cash position through April and May, and had renewed its bank facilities.

All of the firm’s sites are expected to be operational by the end of June, after health and safety teams had implemented a complete overhaul of TClarke’s offices and projects to allow a safe, phased return to work to maximise productivity.

“These are truly unprecedented times for all of us, TClarke is taking decisive action to protect our business.

“Throughout this period we have remained operational and our teams have been working hard planning to ensure that we can get our people back to work safely and resume the best productivity while seeking out new opportunities to further strengthen our forward order book and remain the contractor of choice.”

Lawrence said the business remained committed to a directly employed workforce and its order book of £408m was now slightly head of the 2019 year-end level.