Morris & Spottiswood reports profitable 2009

The privately owned fit-out, housing and maintenance firm reported revenues of £99.9m in 2009 compared to £122.5m in 2008, and pre-tax profits £0.3m after exceptionals of £1.2m, compared to a £3m profit in 2008.

The exceptionals resulted from redundancies during the downturn particularly with the loss of work from banking and retail clients. Morris & Spottiswood, based in Warrington, Glasgow and Edinburgh cut staff levels from 500 to 400 as the market contracted. There was also a write-down on the balance sheet due to the fall in value of investment and operational land and property.

 Chris SaxtonChris Saxton, pictured, Morris & Spottiswood's chief executive, said: "2009 was a very difficult time for the banking, retail and construction sectors and this is reflected in our financial performance, but it does not convey the very substantial effort of our team. During this time, we have benefited from the fact that we are cash positive, without borrowings or external investment. Furthermore, I believe our strong relationship with our customers and our supply chain along with our excellent workforce will ensure we will be well placed to taken advantage of the upturn when it comes."

Morris & Spottiswood recorded a net cash position at the year end of £8.9m with no borrowings.

Significant contract wins during the financial year included a £6m office fit-out contract for Aegon UK in Lytham St Annes, a £3m refurbishment and fit-out for Primark in Telford, Shropshire, and a £1m warehouse conversion to create offices for Northwest Vision & Media at Media City UK in Salford Quays, on behalf of Peel Media.

New framework contracts were also secured with Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Mail Group, the Co-operative Group, Craegmoor Healthcare in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, and NHS Lothian in Edinburgh.

In Scotland, work started on a £32m contract to build 140 new homes for Queens Cross Housing Association in Glasgow, and the firm carried out historic building refurbishment works with a combined value of nearly £10m at the landmark Briggait building in Glasgow and Stirling Castle.

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It’s extremely positive to see an independent remain robust in these difficult times. It’s encouraging to see family owned businesses hold their own in an industry being dominated by acquisitions and mergers. Well done Morris and Spottiswood.

By Anonymous

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