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    Solid Results in Challenging Times for The H&H Group
14/10/08

The H&H Group has posted a solid set of results against a background of lower financial numbers and the difficulties in the economy and world markets.

H&H Group chief executive Brian Richardson

Brian Richardson

On a slightly reduced turnover of £8.7 million (2007 £8.8 million) and an operating profit of £1,695,000 (2007 £2,074,000), the Group has produced satisfactory results with a profit before tax of £695,000 in comparison with last year’s figure of £824,000.

In his annual statement, Group chairman Alan Bowe says: “Not withstanding general economic difficulties the Group has had a good year. This is due to a large extent to the efforts of people in the individual companies and I thank them for their commitment.

“Whilst profits are marginally down on the previous year, the Group’s strong cash position allows the board to recommend the dividend paid to shareholders remains at 20p this year.”

Mr Bowe stresses the H & H Group is not isolated from the current economic difficulties.
House sales through its subsidiary H & H King have declined but not to the same extent as many of its competitors and probably due to the excellent personal service provided by the staff. The turnover in the letting department of this particular subsidiary has again increased.

After initial concerns that the car finance company Borderway Finance would suffer similarly due to the reduction in car sales they have in fact returned reasonable figures.

Harrison & Hetherington, the livestock division, has produced excellent figures despite the financial impact of FMD and Bluetongue, and they are to be congratulated on their all round effort.

H & H Bowe the land agency company has had an excellent year based on professional work and additionally income from property sales.

The sale of 10 acres of development land on the Borderway site has provided for a positive inflow of cash in the year which will be used for future investment by the Group.

Brian Richardson, who began his role as Group chief executive in June, says in his report: “The Group is well positioned to continue the development of our existing businesses and to look at investment opportunities for expansion.

“Current trading is in line with expectations although uncertainty over the Bluetongue vaccination programme makes it difficult to predict the short term implications for our livestock business.

“The general state of the UK economy and the housing market has been taken into account in our planning for the next 12 months and we are not expecting any major upturn in property sales over the remainder of the financial year.

“Each business now has in place a three year plan and these are being reviewed to ensure operational efficiency and identify what resources will be required to maintain and improve upon growth in profitability in the future.”

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