Northern Ireland

£7m pre-tax loss for Ballymena construction firm

Construction site
Image caption The construction industry has been badly affected by the recession

One of Northern Ireland's largest construction firms has reported an annual pre-tax loss of more than £7m.

The details are contained in Ballymena-based Patton Group's 2011 accounts.

It is an improvement on the £10m loss in 2010 and the directors said it had been "an improving year" in "a very difficult trading environment".

The firm's bottom line was hit by a combination of a reduction in the value of its development land and restructuring costs.

Turnover rose 8% to just over £176m and returned an operating profit of £2m.

However, that was wiped out by a £5m writedown in the value of development land, £1m in redundancy costs and a £2m inter company loan write off.

Over the year the number of staff fell from 494 to 409 reducing staff costs from £18.5m to £15.7m.

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