Pochin order book ‘healthy’

Pochin was cautiously optimistic in an interim management statement on Thursday but said the development market remained "uncertain".

The trading update for the period from 31 January 2013 to date was split into construction, property development and overall group briefings.

Of construction, Pochin said: "Whilst construction activity in the UK continues to decrease, albeit at a slower rate, it is pleasing to report the construction division's forward order book is being maintained at healthy levels, although the market in which it operates remains highly competitive."

The development division "is still showing little sign of improvement, with transaction levels remaining low and values correspondingly uncertain. The commercial property portfolio continues to achieve high levels of occupancy and rental income remains steady."

The statement went on: "With most, but not all, of the joint venture legacy issues resolved, and following the disposal of the concrete pumping division earlier in the financial year, the group is benefiting from its concentration on the two remaining core activities. It remains true, however, that any significant improvement in the group's performance is dependent on improved conditions in both the construction and commercial property markets."

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