Coventry IT specialist Sanderson Group saw operating profits nearly halve over the last six months as it continued to battle difficult market conditions.

The group said adjusted operating profit was £1.1 million, compared to £2 million on 2008 figures, but reported a number of non-cash charges in the period resulting in an after-tax loss of £2 million.

Revenues for the period were flat on 2008 figures at £13 million.

Sanderson Group finance director Adrian Frost said a highlight on the balance sheet was the fact the group was close to agreeing refinancing terms.

He said: “We are close to renegotiating our banking facilities with the Royal Bank of Scotland and we are extending the period in which those funds are available to us.

“That’s given a bit more certainty.”

Sanderson Group executive chairman Christopher Winn said: “We believe that our focus on core markets and the continuing development of solutions relevant to customers operating in these sectors will deliver improved financial performance and enhanced shareholder value.

“The short-term goal remains the reduction in debt levels as quickly as trading conditions allow.

“Notwithstanding the slowdown in the general economy the group has a robust business model with a focus on its strong client base.

“The group has concentrated on providing additional products and services to customers and together with the cost savings already implemented, this should ensure that the group produces an improved trading result for the second half of the financial year.”

He added he was not expecting a pick-up in general market conditions in the foreseeable future.

He said: “I don’t really see any green shoots but what I do perceive is that there seems to be a level of stability albeit at a lower level.”

The group, which counts high street names such as Blacks and FCUK among its clients, picked up seven new customers in the period including Kurt Geiger and The Boot Tree.

Broker Charles Stanley said: “Sanderson has faced challenging conditions in its markets for nearly a year, with a small increase in revenues in retail balanced by a slight decline in manufacturing.

“The retail growth was driven by anti fraud and Payment Card Industry work, which is lower margin, and non-high street retail. In manufacturing, new customer wins were at low levels but recurring and incremental revenue held up well.”