Rok stuck in a hard place

Shares in self-styled “local” builder Rok slumped yesterday after the company posted a 47 per cent drop in first-half pre-tax profits to £6m. Evolution analyst Philip Sparks – who cut his rating on the stock to “Add” from “Buy” – said he had hoped the results would herald the beginning of a re-rating for Rok. The company said that its refurbishment and response maintenance divisions, previously regarded by analysts as the main growth drivers, had seen a drop in revenue during the first half. Rok has seen revenues fall by a third as new build construction schemes were cut back and £150m of orders were cancelled as a result of the economic downturn.