(Alliance News) - TClarke PLC on Friday saw annual profit slide by around a quarter in 2023 despite record sales in "very challenging" markets.

Shares in TClarke, the London-headquartered engineering services company, fell 1.8% to 124.02 pence in London on Friday afternoon.

In 2023, TClarke said pretax profit slipped 26% to GBP7.6 million from GBP10.3 million the year prior, with basic earnings per share down 30% to 13.75p from 19.60p.

The company delivered record revenue of GBP491.0 million, up 15% from GBP426.0 million in 2022, but its operating margin declined to 1.9% from 2.7%.

Its forward order book leapt 70% to GBP943 million from GBP555 million.

Despite the drop in profit, TClarke boosted the total dividend by 10% to 5.9p per share from 5.35p.

TClarke said it has been another year of "significant achievement" in a very challenging marketplace.

Chief Executive Mark Lawrence struck an optimistic tone as he looked ahead to 2024.

"We are poised to maintain our progress in our targeted markets, positioning us favourably to achieve our growth plans for 2024 and beyond," he commented.

By Jeremy Cutler, Alliance News reporter

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