Hargreaves Services upbeat despite swinging to interim loss
Industrial, energy and property services provider Hargreaves Services announced its interim results for the six months ended 30 November on Wednesday, with revenue falling to £150.3m from £170.9m.
The AIM-traded company's underlying operating profit grew slightly to £2.3m from £2.1m, although it recorded an operating loss of £2.7m, swinging from a profit of £0.1m in the first half of the 2017 financial year.
Underlying earnings per share surged to 2.7p from 0.3p, while statutory losses per share were 4p, compared to nil earnings per share a year earlier.
Net debt was down to £20.6m from £36.9m, while the company's net asset value grew to £134.9m from £129.2m, making for net assets per share of 423p, rising from 406p.
The board reported that first half underlying trading was in line with management expectations, and it maintained its interim dividend at 2.7p.
Its property development and realisation programme was said to be progressing, with the Brockwell Energy spin-off also progressing with financial closure expected in the coming months.
"The group's operational focus on delivering consistent performance with an emphasis on risk management and margin improvement is beginning to bear fruit," said chairman David Morgan.
"Progress on the key strategic objective of realising value from the group's property and energy assets has continued with further significant news, particularly in respect of the energy portfolio, expected in the next few months.
"The group has a strong balance sheet to support its strategy and the board remains confident that there is substantial shareholder value to be realised."