NB Real Estate sunk into the red in its last financial year.

The property services firm, formerly called Nelson Bakewell, made a pretax loss of £2.5m in the year to 30 September 2007, it revealed today. This compares with a profit of £1.6m in the previous year.

Turnover decreased by 8% from £39.2m to £36.2m as a result of a fall of £4.3m in transactional business, which was partially balanced by an increase of £1.3m in property and facilities management and consultancy.

The firm also blamed the loss on ‘significant investment in infrastructure’. Infrastructure investments included a corporate rebranding; the establishment of a larger facilities management service through NB Entrust, the joint venture with the Asset Factor; the refurbishment of the head office in Mayfair; the relocation to larger premises of the regional office in Edinburgh; the expansion of the Manchester operation and the continuing recruitment of senior personnel.

The firm believes the investment is paying off. In the first six months of the current financial year – to 31 March – turnover was 25% higher at £21.4m. The firm did not disclose what profit, if any, was made in the first six months.

‘Whilst the group, along with its competitors, has seen a significant reduction in trading volumes in property investment transactions over the last year, this has had a relatively limited impact on our overall performance,’ said chief executive Mike Hatt.

‘Our property and facilities management and directly related consultancy services, which together represent approximately 80% of our total business, provide a strong and stable income stream during weak market conditions.

‘I am confident that we are on track for a substantial increase in turnover in the current year and a highly satisfactory profit, despite the challenging market and economic conditions.’