- Building services group Northern Bear posted a 41% drop in annual profit and scrapped its dividend, citing political uncertainty caused by Brexit and UK elections, wet weather and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pre-tax profit for the year through March fell to £1.85m, down from a £3.13m on-year, as revenue slid 3.9% to £54.4m.

The majority of Northern Bear's businesses saw construction sites close in late March, though it had seen a gradual improvement over May and June, with a number of private sector and local authority contracts resuming.

Executive chairman Steve Roberts said the company was now back to around 75% of normal activity levels and that its short-term outlook was positive.

'Whilst there remains the possibility of a second wave of Covid-19 infections and renewed restrictions, the government has encouraged the construction industry to remain active and we hope that the revised safety guidance now in place will reduce future disruption to our site activities,' Roberts said.

'In the meantime, we have an even stronger order book, which has pleasingly continued to increase during the lock down period and should support a return to a much improved level of operating performance across the group in the coming months.'

At 2:11pm: [LON:NTBR] Northern Bear PLC share price was 0p at 55.5p

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