New business helps Seddon defy slump

CHESHIRE builder Seddon grew sales last year but the gloomy construction sector dented profits.

Newly-filed accounts for the Holmes Chapel-based group show pre-tax profit before exceptionals slipped 41% to £5.4m.

But the business managed to push overall turnover up by 5% to £283.2m.

In the accounts the group said its residential and commercial property business saw a continuation of the “difficult” trading conditions it has experienced since 2007.

The family-owned firm, which has 2,000 staff, said traiding volumes increased slightly in construction, with growth coming from new business.

“The decrease in profitability or our contracting business in 2011 demonstrates the increasing pressure on profit margins throughout the industry,” said the company.

Seddon’s engineering division had a “steady” year with increased sales but lower profits.