Builder J Smart warns over profits

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J SMART, the Edinburgh-based building contractor, yesterday warned that annual underlying profits will be “considerably less” than last year.

In its interim statement, the company said there had been a “moderate revival” in private house sale enquiries since March and demand for small industrial units on the firm’s Edinburgh estates remains strong. But it added that letting of new commercial and industrial space continued to be difficult and the company had seen “tenant erosion” in its more established office developments.

Declining turnover, deteriorating margins and the cost of redundancies in contracting were also having an adverse effect. Although the company said it was difficult to forecast year-end results, it added that a headline loss was possible. Shares in J Smart closed down 2p at 84p.