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Loss provisions hit Miller profits

PROVISIONS FOR losses on long-running contracts undermined profits made by Miller's contracting division in 1998, according to results published on Tuesday.

Chief executive Keith Miller said the provisions reflected the company's conservative accounting policy and that he hoped they would be clawed back this year.

Last year the contracting division made profits before interest of £1.5M compared with £5.1M in 1997. Turnover increased to £247.9M from £224M in 1997.

The Miller Group increased pre-tax profits from £13.2M to £14.8M on turnover up from £323.8M to £365.7M.

Group profits were boosted by an increased contribution from the property and investment division, which saw profits before interest increasing from £6.8M in 1997 to £10M in 1998. The division's turnover rose from £30M to £44M.

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