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Increased annual turnover and profits for Ipswich-based construction group Barnes

PUBLISHED: 12:04 03 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:27 03 February 2017

Work in progress on the remodelling of the East of England's Rosehill Retail Park in Ipswich.
Photo: Gregg Brown

Work in progress on the remodelling of the East of England's Rosehill Retail Park in Ipswich. Photo: Gregg Brown

East Anglian construction and maintenance company Barnes Group has filed accounts showing strong growth in annual turnover and profits.

Barnes director Mark Bailey, left, and East of England Co-op joint chief executive Nick Denny at the Rosehill Retail Park.Barnes director Mark Bailey, left, and East of England Co-op joint chief executive Nick Denny at the Rosehill Retail Park.

Ipswich-based Barnes, a member of the EADT/EDP Top 100 listing of the 100 largest companies in Suffolk and Norfolk, saw turnover increase by 13.4% in the year to September 30, 2016, from £77.384m a year earlier to £87.790m, with pre-tax profit 19% higher at £1.828m, against £1.535m the previous year.

In a business review accompanying the annual accounts, newly-filed at Companies House, the directors say the group’s construction division, which operates as Barnes Construction, had “another successful year”, with a further improvement in margins leading to “good profitability”.

A strategy of expanding the geography and the range of industries served by the division continued to deliver results, with more opportunities in London alongside strong demand in the eastern region, the review says, adding: “The division has a good order book for the year ahead and is optimistic as to the outlook.”

The review says that the group’s mechanical and electrical division, which operates as Bower Fuller, also had “another good year”, with operations in East Anglia exceeding the business plan for the year while activity in London was held back by delayed starts to a number of contracts.

“The division has a good order book for the year ahead and is optimistic as to the outlook,” the directors add.

The review also reports that, during the year, the group acquired the remaining 50% shareholding in plumbing and heating maintenance company J T Wilding Ltd which it did not already own, a move its says “will enable us to development the business further”.

Looking ahead, the review adds: “The directors continue to be confident of the prospects for each of our businesses.”

Projects completed by Barnes during the year covered by the accounts included the final phase of work on Pakefield High School, the first new secondary school to be built by Suffolk County Council in more than 20 years.

Contracts won towards the end of the year included an extension to the Travelodge hotel in London’s Covent Garden and a remodelling of the East of England Co-op’s Rosehill retail park in Ipswich.

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