But Byrne Group predicted it would bounce back into the black this year on the strength of major orders in London.
Reporting on results for the year ended June 2018, chief executive Michael Byrne said the group had endured a frustrating year with the start of several projects significantly delayed.
This saw revenue slump to £139m in the 13-month period compared with £322m in the previous year.
He said: “The group has taken positive action to reduce its cost base in the face of project uncertainty and the fall in turnover, but it has not been possible to fully mitigate the reduced level of activity.
“Looking forward the group is poised to recover sales volumes and to operate profitably as it has a secured order book of around £350m at year end, of which £200m is expected to be delivered in the financial year to June 2019.”
During the year Byrne incurred £2m of restructuring costs as staffing levels were cut from around 762 to 432, mainly from a reduction in the direct labour force.
The legacy Chorus fit-out specialist contractor was finally closed with no further loss incurred.
The group’s concrete frame contractor, Byrne Bros, saw revenue half to £72m suffering a trading loss of £2.9m.
Major London contracts for Lendlease at Google’s new headquarters project in King’s Cross and for Multiplex on two landmark residential tower projects in Vauxhall are hoped to turn around the business’s fortunes this year.
The Multiplex projects are Aykon London One, which consists of a 50 and 24 storey towers and One Nine Elms, a 56 and 42 storey residential scheme.
The group’s other business, general builder and refurbishment contractor Ellmer, saw revenue slip back to £66m from £80m, while it delivered a trading profit of £800,000.
Byrne Group is owned by South African construction group WHBO, which upped its stake in the business from 40% to 80% in June 2018, after buying out shares of co-founder Johnny Byrne.
The move by the £2bn construction giant strengthened Byrne’s financial backing to fund future growth.