2015-03-13  

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Harrison and Hetherington Group Lowers Borrowing

The H&H Group, demonstrates continued strengthening of its position in a competitive market place as it announces its six months results to the end of December 2014 showing Market Share, Profits and Assets Rising while Group Borrowing Lowers.

On a lower turnover of £7.1 million, its profits before tax are slightly higher at £839,000, compared to the previous year’s £822,000. Net assets rose to £16.741 million, and as a result of exiting the motor finance business in March 2014, there was a reduction in borrowing in the year of £4.7 million.

Brian Richardson

Brian Richardson

Brian Richardson, Chief Executive of the H&H Group PLC, commented:
 “These results are pleasing, when all the markets we operate in remain very competitive, and some areas of the economy remain challenging. Harrison & Hetherington has had a very good 6 months with increases in market share and continuing growth in numbers. We have continued to invest in all our businesses and have seen increases in turnover, which will allow for further growth in coming years.”

“The transfer of our finance business to the Cumberland Building Society in March 2014 has allowed for a dramatic drop in gearing, with borrowing requirements continuing to drop in future years as the loan book is collected in.

“Overall these results continue to demonstrate the robustness of the Group’s portfolio of businesses based around the heritage of our livestock auctioneering business”.

The Group’s profit before tax of £839,000 for the 6 months to 31 December 2014 showed no exceptional items on the slightly reduced turnover of £7.1 million. Whilst profit before tax is very similar to last year, this is after our withdrawal from the motor finance business in March last year which has allowed us to reduce our borrowing at the end of January by £4.7 million since June 2014.

Mr Richardson confirmed the direction the company was heading in: “We said when we reported the previous year’s results that we were looking to continue to develop the business through innovation and growth. There is a clear focus across the businesses to review the markets we operate in. Our aim is to have the best structures and customer offerings in place so that we can profitably serve our customers.”

Harrison & Hetherington’s Auctions Marts reported continued gain in market share, with some particularly strong sales in the autumn. He added, “Whilst the dairy sector remains under pressure, the outlook for livestock generally is more positive and we have continued into 2015 with good prices and numbers coming forward. The trial of internet auctions to support pedigree sales has had good support and this will be built on in the coming year.”

H&H Insurance Brokers has continued to develop its rural and commercial portfolio in a very competitive market for insurance with little increase being seen in premiums. The launch of in-Livestock, a specialist livestock insurance product has gone well, with the brand gaining market share.

H&H Land and Property has seen a continued growth in professional work, and H&H Reeds Printers is continuing to develop its customer base across a wider geographical area.

As it announces its interim results, the company also confirms that the H&H Group PLC remain in discussion with John Swan & Son PLC about a possible takeover. However, it continues to emphasise that whilst talks continue, there is no certainty they will lead to an offer being made for the John Swan business.

H&H

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