Shares in engineering and environmental consultancy Waterman Group said annual pre-tax profit fell by a third but underlined its confidence in future trading with an increased dividend payment.
The group, which offers support services to the property, infrastructure, energy and environmental markets, booked a pre-tax profit of £353,000 for the year ended June 30th 2013, down from £530,000 a year earlier. Revenue fell to £66.8m from £68.8m in the previous year.
Operating profit for the year more than halved to £456,000, from £1.02m. Basic and diluted losses per share widened to 0.4p from 0.3p previously.
Chief Executive Nick Taylor said the group is in good shape. "The results for the period reflect a historic backdrop of challenging trading conditions but, looking forward, our markets are much more positive. We have also re-positioned the business successfully and the result is a solid platform from which we are confident that over the next three years we will deliver strong growth."
The group's order book has increased by 5% to £105m, driven by improving confidence in the UK property sector, its largest market.
"We are particularly enthusiastic about the prospects for our core market in the UK, which generates over 75% of Waterman's revenue. Our clients, many of whom are the major property developers, are much more confident and are starting a wide range of schemes."
The total dividend per share has been increased to 0.5p from 0.3p.
UK food producer Cranswick brought home the bacon in the last half as total sales rose 15 per cent, driven by demand for pork.
In a trading update for the six months to the end of September, the company said sales growth was supported by the "attractiveness, versatility and low relative price" of British pig meat.
The acquisition of wholesale meat supplier Kingston Foods in June 2012 and of Wayland Farms in April 2013 also helped to boost sales during the period.
Underlying turnover was 13% higher than the previous year.
The group's gourmet pastry facility at Malton, North Yorkshire was fully commissioned, albeit with higher than anticipated start-up costs, expanding the range of savoury pastry products.
Pig prices rose during the first quarter of the financial year, reaching a record high in July.
Ongoing efficiency improvements and the strong volumes through the group's facilities offset the price rise.
However, the extent of and time lag in recovering higher input costs and pastry start-up costs, are expected to result in operating profits for the first half of the year being broadly flat.
During the period, the company purchased two breeding units for its pig breeding and rearing business to accommodate 3,000 sows, bringing the total number of sows owned by the company to 15,000.
The bigger herd will produce around 7,000 outdoor-reared pigs each week for use in Cranswick's premium range product.
Cranswick said it was also give it greater control over a "robust and integrated supply chain, with a clear focus on premium British ingredients".
Net borrowings were lower despite the £13m spent on the acquisition of Wayland Farms, the substantial on-going capital investment programme and increased activity levels across the business.
"The group is in a sound financial position, with committed, unsecured facilities of £100m which provide generous headroom going forward," the company said.
Looking ahead, the firm expects growth on the back of a strong export trade, broadening product portfolio and an increasing demand for pork.
UK pig prices are anticipated to remain at historical highs at least through to the end of the calendar year.
"The financial year outturn will be, to a large extent, dependent on the group's ability to mitigate these costs through further operating efficiencies and the outcome of on-going discussions with customers," Cranswick added.