Preston Animate The Marketquarter p Inform Comms

Eric Wright is delivering Animate in Preston. Credit: via Inform Comms

Eric Wright positive despite profit dip 

The group’s construction arm has reported its best financial results in 11 years, although pre-tax profit across the business dropped by £8m in 2022 as the result of a portfolio revaluation. 

Eric Wright Group’s turnover was up £4.1m for the 2022 financial year from £163.9m to £168m, helped in part by the sale of Artis Park, which generated £3.8m. 

Eric Wright Construction returned to profit for the first time in more than a decade, creeping into the black with an £828,000 surplus for the year. 

The construction business continues to focus on the “management of risk and selection of projects that can be delivered at appropriate margins”, according to Eric Wright. 

Meanwhile, the group’s underlying trading profit increased to £11.9m from £10.2m in the previous year. 

However, this does not factor in the revaluation of investment properties. 

That revaluation came as a result of “wider economic conditions and lack of market-based transactions… [that had] an adverse impact on property yields”, according to the group. 

The value of the company’s portfolio was subsequently written down by £4.8m, a near-£10m swing compared to 2021, when the value of Eric Wright’s assets adjusted upwards to the tune of £5m. 

Eric Wright’s workforce grew during 2022, with almost 100 more staff on the books at the end of the year compared to the start. The business now employs 784 workers across all divisions. 

The increase in turnover and an improvement in the construction division’s balance sheet demonstrate Eric Wright’s ability to whether the difficulties the industry is currently facing, according to the group’s finance director. 

“These financial figures represent the steady progress made and continued strength and resilience shown across the group as we trade out of the covid era,” said Gill Chadwick. 

“We have seen a significant £11.7m increase on our balance sheet to £90.6m, which is the stable base from which we will continue to build. The group has performed well and we are especially pleased to see the construction business back in profit.” 

Group managing director, Jeremy Hartley praised staff for their hard work and loyalty, adding that the group’s diversity was helping it to “limit exposure to risk” and make a difference to communities. 

“This diversity sustains the group’s resilience, allowing us to concentrate on our strategy for measured and sustainable growth where our returns are either invested back into the business or used to support the charitable work of the Eric Wright Trust across the region. 

“There is a powerful synergy between the trust’s charitable giving and the group’s social value strategy which is delivered through our day-to-day activities and we believe this combined approach can have a genuine impact on the people and communities where we work.”  

Eric Wright’s regeneration arm Maple Grove Developments is currently delivering regeneration projects across its Lancashire heartlands in Preston, Blackburn and Burnley. 

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