Pre-tax profits at cement group, Readymix, plunged by 35 per cent last year as the construction and property sectors slowed, the group said in its preliminary results for the year to the end of December 2007.
The company posted a pre-tax profit total that fell to EUR27.79m compared to EUR42.59m in the previous year and revenues that dropped by 10.3 per cent to EUR220.21m compared to EUR245.37m previously.
"As a result of tighter trading conditions, due mainly to the decline in house-building and construction activity, the loss of earnings resulting from the tactical disposal of selective parts of the concrete products business, and non-recurring costs associated with the introduction and implementation of new operating systems and progressive business processes, Profit before Income Tax is 35pc below that achieved in 2006," the company said.
Adrian Auer, Readymix plc Chairman, said: "2007 has been a year of transition for the Group, both in terms of the markets in which we operate, and the progress that has been made in reshaping our operations. The bottom line performance in 2007 does not reflect the financial strength or future prospects of the Group, which has a strong balance sheet and a very healthy net cash position of E37m. The new operating systems will provide enhanced visibility and control, enabling the Group to operate efficiently in these challenging market conditions, and to leverage its financial strength to maximum advantage for the longer term."