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Stackyard News Feb 2010

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H & H Group Profits Rise Despite Economic Background

The H & H Group, Carlisle, has reported record profits for the first six months of the year to the end of December 2009.

Lazonby Mart

Lazonby Mart

Profit before tax of £872,000 was up £418,000 on the previous year, with turnover up 12% at £5,054,000 during the six months.

Alan Bowe, Group chairman, said: “These results show very strong trading from all seven of the Group’s businesses and are the result of some tremendously hard work from all our staff.

“The economy remains difficult, and undoubtedly we are not immune to this, but these results demonstrate the strength of the Group with all but one of our businesses trading ahead of last year.

“We continue to believe that the future remains difficult to predict but we are well positioned to deal with any challenges presented to us in the future.”

During the period the average share price rose to £13.70. The interim dividend recommended remains at 6.5p per share and will be paid on the of April 23 to those on the register at April 1, 2010.

Brian Richardson, Group chief executive, said: “These results follow on from the progress made in the last financial year and its is pleasing to report continued growth in profits.

“Higher livestock prices have helped our mart business but we have also been able to increase market share against our competitors in the sector.

“The other businesses within the Group have also seen good growth in market share helped by strong branding and a focus on good customer service.

“H & H Motor Auctions has seen some reduction in throughput as a result of the Government’s scrappage scheme, but we expect trading to return to more normal levels as the scheme comes to an end.

“The Group employs 180 people and I continue to be impressed by the commitment to the business by all staff.”

Harrison and Hetherington, the livestock enterprise, had an exceptional six months due to higher livestock values and by increasing its market share against a national background of reducing livestock numbers.

Completion of the sale of surplus land at Lockerbie Mart took place in January and it is proposed to carry out capital improvement works at Lockerbie to the pennage, office and canteen facilities.

Refurbishment work at Borderway has been completed to provide improved covered facilities for livestock and plans are being reviewed for further development and improvement at Borderway to maintain it as the UK’s leading livestock centre.

H&H Bowe, the land agency company, exceeded budget due to increased professional work and farm sales, particularly in Scotland.

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