Hargreaves six-month revenue slips to £171m

Durham-based international coal distribution and industrial logistics firm Hargreaves Services plc said its reported revenue fell £3.9 million to £170.9 million in the six months to 30 November 2016 but that strong prospects in Germany are expected to “drive outperformance in second half.”

Hargreaves said trading in the first half was in line with management expectations as a reduction in coal sales and industrial services revenues following the closure of Redcar steelworks and a number of coal-fired power stations was largely offset by the £40 million of revenue contributed by recent acquisition CA Blackwell.

Hargreaves said its underlying profit before tax fell 72% to £900,000 but that it would increase its interim dividend 58.8% to 2.7p per share “reflecting the progress made together with the visibility on the prospects for the second half of the year.”

Shares of Hargreaves, which has more than 2,000 employees around the world, have risen more than 30% in the past year to about 275p, giving it a current stock market value of around £88 million.

Hargreaves chairman David Morgan said: “It is pleasing to see how much progress we have made towards the three strategic goals we set ourselves a year ago.

“First, earnings from the continuing distribution and services operations are well set to deliver operating profit within the target range that we set.

“Second, good progress is being made in creating and then delivering the targeted £35 million to £50 million uplift in value from our property & energy portfolio.

“Lastly, it is very gratifying to see the progress that has been made in the realisation of cash from the legacy assets and the increasing confidence that this realisation will be achieved without the need for any net impairment of the book value.”