The firm reported a £2.2 loss in the year to April due to the coronavirus lockdown and streamlining costs.
While revenue was reduced by around £10m due to the impact of the pandemic, a stronger performance over last year saw turnover slip by only 5% to £84m.
Mark Cutler, chief executive, said Van Elle had seen a better than expected recovery in workloads in June and July and remained cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.
He said that project workload in June was up to 70% of prior year levels, up from a low point of only 20% in April, although not all divisions are recovering at the same rate.
Cutler said: “FY2021 has started encouragingly, with activity levels recovering slightly ahead of our expectations and we look forward, subject to no further significant business interruptions arising from any further COVID-19 disruption, to returning to full operational capacity by the end of Q3 FY2021.”
He said Van Elle was now seeing improving order levels and had secured important contracts in target markets, including the first contract award on High Speed 2.
Van Elle also announced that former Galliford Try finance director Frank Nelson had joined the board to take-over as non-executive chairman when Adrian Barden steps down at the end of the month.
Cutler said: “These results reflect a challenging trading environment that persisted for much of the year and which was significantly exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19.
“Our strategy remains unchanged: improving the operational performance of the business while developing positions for differentiation and growth with key customers in the housing, infrastructure and construction sectors.
“Despite the market conditions, we made good progress in the delivery of this strategic plan.
“The restructuring programme has been completed, with a streamlined divisional structure now in place.
“This, combined with the strengthened financial position following the successful share placing in April, means that the group is better positioned to return to growth as markets improve.”