WM Donald returns to profit

Civil engineering firm WM Donald has successfully navigated a “protracted local area recession” with a steady turnover and a return to profit.

The Duke of Rothesay official opened WM Donald’s new Netherley headquarters last year

The North East company recorded a turnover of £33.7 million for the year ending March 31 2019, while pretax profit for the period rose to £2.9m, a substantial increase from the £11.5m loss posted the year before – attributed to an exceptional item relating to employer-financed retirement schemes.

Based in Netherley, where it opened new purpose-built headquarters in October, WM Donald saw salaries and associated costs rise for the period, from £6.9m in 2018 to £7.4m this year, due to a fall in the number of specialist sub-contractors and increased staff numbers.

However, the increased staff costs have been offset by purchasing process improvements.

In the annual report, director William Donald said: “The directors are pleased with the performance of the business in the year, with turnover remaining at a similar level to the prior year, despite the protracted local area recession and the competitive nature of the market.

“The company has continued to secure new contracts for commercial and residential developments.”

Mr Donald added: “The local economy remains challenging, however the company has operated efficiently in the past and the directors are confident that the company will do so going forward.”

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