Revenue was also impacted by the pandemic falling by around 12% to £507m in the year to February 2021.
The group incurred a net exceptional cost of £3m in relation to the cost of topping up salary payments to furloughed employees above the government’s contribution and £1.5m in redundancy payments following the difficult decision to reduce headcount by around 8% to operate in line with forecast activity levels.
David Hurcomb, chief executive of NG Bailey, said that after a difficult year the business enjoyed positive gains and income in the period from its money market investments.
This saw it post an overall pre-tax loss of £4.4m, down from a £20.5m profit previously.
Privately-owned NG Bailey holds considerable liquid financial resources including cash and deposits of £42.3m and current asset investments with a market value of £43.5m.
Hurcomb said that the firm was now ready to bounce back to capitalise on the UK Government decarbonising agenda, supported by a £1.2bn orderbook.
NG Bailey is presently working in partnership with Britishvolt on the UK’s first giant car battery plant in Northumberland.
“In what is NG Bailey’s centenary year, it is pleasing to look forward with confidence and optimism as the UK economy and construction industry continue to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“Our ongoing strategy of achieving a balanced business across our engineering and services divisions is supported by a £1.2bn forward order book, made up of a diversified opportunity pipeline which focuses on key UK recovery sectors and puts us in a strong position.
“The UK government’s commitment to infrastructure spending and its decarbonisation targets, coupled with our leading reputation in key sectors, where we see significant growth opportunities over the next five years, allows us to remain confident that the markets in which we operate are resilient and that we are in a strong position to benefit.
He added: “In the current trading environment, one of our key differentiators is the strength of our balance sheet.
“We are committed to making further investment in our target areas of work and in our people, to ensure our business remains sustainable and thrives over the longer term.”