The Preston-based contractor said its “strong financial position” would help it adjust to market changes caused by the pandemic, after it reported a 23% drop in pre-tax profit for the year ended 31 December 2019.
Jeremy Hartley, managing director of Eric Wright Group, said in a statement this week: “We are fortunate to operate in a number of sectors where demand has proved resilient, and we have a strong financial position that will support us as we adjust to the requirements of trading successfully in the months ahead.”
He added: “Given the difficulties presented in 2020 by Covid-19, each division is faced with its own challenges as we trade in a very changed world.”
Eric Wright reported a pre-tax profit of £7.7m for the 12 months ended 31 December 2019, down £2.3m from the £10m it reported for 2018.
The drop, carried largely by the firm’s construction arm, was due to the “challenging environment within the sector and the completion of two underperforming contracts”, according to the statement.
Overall group turnover increased to £223m, up from £170m the previous year, driven by improved performances across several other of the group’s businesses, including engineering, water and the housing subsidiary Maple Grove Developments.
Eric Wright Civil Engineering returned to profit in the 2019 period, while Eric Wright Water increased turnover by £8m, to £50m, during the period.
Additionally, Maple Grove Developments reported an increase in pre-tax profit to £1.8m, from the £1.1m it reported in 2018.
Gill Chadwick, Eric Wright Group’s finance director, said: “Although we have seen a drop in overall profit, underlying trading remained strong with improved profitability in a number of key divisions.
“While general economic conditions during 2019 continued to create challenges, the stability afforded by our diversity provided us with substantial resilience and gives us confidence for the future, notwithstanding the unprecedented place we all found ourselves in as 2020 began to unfold.”