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‘Tough times still to come’ warns Angus building firm

Pert Bruce is part of a joint venture transforming the Sunnyside Hospital site in Angus into housing
Pert Bruce is part of a joint venture transforming the Sunnyside Hospital site in Angus into housing

An Angus construction company warned the “tough times are still to come” as it reported a rise in sales last year.

Montrose-based Pert Bruce, which can trace its history to 1871, undertakes domestic, commercial and public-funded projects and developments.

Among its projects is a joint venture to develop a 62 acre site at the former Sunnyside Royal Hospital in Montrose.

Newly filed accounts for Pert Bruce Construction Limited for the year ending October 31 2019 show an increase in turnover despite “challenging” economic conditions.

Revenues rose to £11.6m, from £10.2m in 2018. Pre-tax profits were recorded at £266,000.

Managing director and majority shareholder Craig Bruce said the company had “consolidated” its financial position last year.

In the strategic report within the company accounts, he said: “We have seen year on year asset growth, however this year our strategic plan was to consolidate and ensure we remain productive and efficient, not just move forward with continued increase in turnover.

“Overall, given the continuing challenging economic position, the directors are very satisfied with the results of the year past, however this year now holds challenges that were unimaginable at the year end.

“The directors plan to build upon success of prior years, showing the company’s commitment to the local area, its workforce and supply chain.”

However, Mr Bruce highlighted the uncertain marketplace as the economy starts to emerge from the Covid-19 lockdown.

“As with all companies Pert-Bruce are unsure of what the year holds post lockdown,” he added.

“We feel the tough times are still to come as we exit lockdown, bringing work back onstream while facing the financial pressures of a prolonged shutdown and a new normal.”

Average staff numbers for 2019 were 85 employees, of whom 59 were classed as operational and 20 as management and administration as well as six directors. All but three staff are currently furloughed.

The company employs and trains a regular intake of apprentices as it sees this as the future to the sustainability of the business.

It operates from custom built offices, joinery workshop and storage facilities at Broomfield Industrial Estate.

The multi-million pound project to develop the Sunnyside site started last year, with 35 affordable homes being developed on the grounds. A second phase will involve 59 homes.

rmclaren@thecourier.co.uk

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