2013-10-11   facebooktwitterrss
H&H Group Plc Records Pre-tax Profits In Excess of £1 Million

For the third time in its history the H&H Group PLC has recorded pre-tax profits in excess of £1 million in the year ending 30th June 2013.

The H&H Group, who employ 290 staff across its 11 locations, have today announced its total turnover for this period was £14.348 million - slightly higher than the previous year. There continued to be strong demand for the Group’s shares with the average share price for the year at £25.73, an increase of £2 from the previous year. Profits were £1.015 million and although not at the level of last year’s record of £1.444 million, they demonstrate the importance of having a broad spread of business interests.

Brian Richardson

Brian Richardson

With over 1,000 shareholders this Carlisle based Group has roots dating back to the late 19th century and owns a range of businesses covering auctioneering, property, financial services and printing. In recent years many of their portfolio of businesses have expanded geographically. On announcing details of these results Brian Richardson, Chief Executive said:
“The year 2012-13 has been a challenging year and demonstrates that no-one is immune to the effects of the wider economy. Customers have been much more careful and conscious about their spending and this, along with increased costs in areas such as rates and energy has impacted on the financial results.”

The livestock auctioneering business, Harrison & Hetherington, had marginally higher throughput, and turnover was helped by it being a reasonable year for livestock prices. Carlisle’s Borderway Auction Centre is recognised as the leading auction centre in the UK and investment in its facilities once again continued.

However, Brian is more than aware that it is imperative to keep abreast of changing purchasing trends, new media and online development. So in March the Group purchased James Sutherland (auctioneers) Ltd based in Newcastle.

“This is a company who specialise in valuations and online auctions on behalf of accountants and the official receiver. So, in addition to spreading our geographical reach, this purchase has also provided access to an in-depth knowledge of online marketing and auctions, which will be hugely beneficial to the rest of the Group,” he adds.

The land agency businesses, Carlisle and Durham based H&H Land and Property and H&H King Estate Agents, both continued to perform well with 2013 seeing improvement in volumes in the housing market. This is something which will bodes well for the future.

Cumbria’s largest independent finance company, H&H Borderway Finance, continued to focus on providing finance for motor vehicles. This is a highly competitive market, and once again it has delivered another contribution to the profits of the Group.

The insurance arm of the Group, H&H Insurance Brokers who acquired Brampton based John Pieri Insurance Services at the end of 2012, has continued to grow. Whilst the company continues to focus on rural insurance, there has been a significant growth in the commercial division of the business.

Brian explains why the Group’s printing arm, H&H Reeds Printer’s, is one area that has suffered from the general lower spending.

“Like so many other companies, we saw a significant drop off in orders from the public sector and this coupled with a difficult economy has impinged on the profitability of the business. However, as confidence returns to the wider economy we are now seeing order levels increasing.”

As always Auctioneering is at the very core of the H&H Group. Established over 140 years ago this will remain at the heart of the group. The Group continues to invest in all its companies, responding to the demands of the marketplace, and taking on new staff at all levels, to provide the expertise and experience necessary. It looks to expand geographically where opportunity presents itself.

“Despite the economy remaining fragile, it is confidence and growth in companies like the H&H Group which are at the heart of local regeneration,” says Brian. “We have a diverse range of business sectors and all times, the Groups’ aim is to maximise the potential from each with an eye on the long term development of the brand”


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