Balfour, a former Scots Guards officer and the sixth generation of his family to join the armed forces, previously served with property development and construction firm Miller Group, as well as rat-catcher Rentokil.
Under his instruction last year, Havelock Europa scored sales of more than £100 million, with pre-tax profits surging 49 per cent north to £6 million.
Balfour drove strong performances from two of the group’s three divisions, among them retail interiors, where clients include Primark, HBOS and Marks & Spencer, and the point of sale display division.
The relative black sheep was the Education Furniture and Supplies arm, which posted lower profits due to a temporary lull in PFI/PPP school refurbishment schemes. This division is gearing up for a predicted increase in business in this area this year and next.
Havelock’s 2005 performance marked a continuation in the revival of the group’s fortunes over recent years, thanks to a stricter focus on high-margin work twinned with acquisitions.