Shopfitting firm expects slow pickup

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Shopfitting, housing and maintenance specialist Morris & Spottiswood saw turnover fall by more than one-fifth last year as key customers kept a tight rein on property-related spending.

The Glasgow-based group, which has opened an office in Warrington in a bid to boost sales in England, warns in its latest accounts filed with Companies House that its markets remain challenging.

However, directors add that it has the financial flexibility to deal with the “prospects of only a slow recovery”, having cut the number of staff by about 100 to some 350 last year.

“Actions to re-align the cost base of the business with expected activity has provided stability,” the report states.

Turnover fell 22 per cent to £66 million last year, with a slightly smaller 19 per cent decline in pre-tax profits to £271,000. It finished the year debt-free and with net cash of slightly more than £7m.

The firm, majority-owned by chairman and chief executive George Morris, paid total dividends of £180,000, up from £115,000 previously.