Profit up but turnover down for Norwich contractor

A “selective approach” to projects helped RG Carter boost pre-tax profit last year despite a fall in revenue.

Group turnover dropped by 23 per cent, falling from £322m in 2022 to £248.5m in the year ending 31 December 2023.

But pre-tax profit for the year totalled £12.8m, up by 80 per cent on the 2022 figure of £7.1m.

This enabled RG Carter to pay out a dividend of £242,000 in 2023, compared with nothing the previous year.

Norwich-based RG Carter was ranked 64th in the CN100 2023 table of top contractors.

In his strategic report accompanying the latest accounts, chairman Robert Carter said: “Our core activity of construction is trading well.

“Turnover in 2024 is forecasted to be in line with that achieved in 2023. This reflects our continued selective approach to the clients we work with and the projects we undertake.”

Construction accounted for 92 per cent of group turnover, although its revenue of £228m was down on the 2022 figure of £304m.

However, Carter noted the “significant challenge” of incorporating new building safety regulations and their potential “retrospective application to completed projects”.

He said the group “has opted to mitigate any risk by promoting a multi-layered check and review process coupled with continuous training”.

Cash at bank edged down from £74.2m to £71.5m.

RG Carter held no bank loans and it reduced the amount in retentions it owed to creditors within 12 months from £11m to £7.8m.

Monthly average headcount across the group fell by 29 employees to 778 staff, including a 13 per cent fall in site and production workers.

Contract wins in 2023 included a place on Cambridge University’s £680m estate framework.

Projects scheduled for completion this year include a new Tesco store in Atherstone, Warwickshire.

Since its latest accounting period, RG Carter completed the refurbishment of two Second World War-era hangars (one pictured) at Cranfield University in Bedfordshire.

In April, the firm also clinched a spot on a £1.3bn healthcare decarbonisation framework from Pagabo.

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