- Geotechnical engineering company Van Elle reported a 63% fall in first-half profit and cut its dividend after its margins shrunk.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through October fell to £0.9m, down from £2.4m on-year.

Revenue rose 13% to £48.5m but was offset by margin weakness, which the company said reflected weak conditions and an adverse sales mix.

Van Elle slashed its interim dividend to 0.2p per share, down from 1.0p on-year.

'The business continues to improve and, despite challenging market conditions through the first half, we have made progress,' chief executive Mark Cutler said.

'Whilst mindful of ongoing volatility across construction markets and recognising a slower third quarter than previous years due to subdued rail activity, the board expects some market improvement and further progress in the balance of the second half.'

'This is also supported by the benefits of ongoing improvements under the group's transformation programme.'

'Consequently, the board expects to deliver results for the full year within the range of market expectations.'

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