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Sat October 31 2020

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Shepherd makes £1.5m loss after £26m of exceptionals

22 Jan 10 Shepherd Group has reported a pre-tax loss of £1.5m for the year ending 30 June 2009 after being hit with £26m of exceptional costs. More...

Shepherd Group has reported a pre-tax loss of £1.5m for the year ending 30 June 2009 after being hit with £26m of exceptional costs.

The family-owned construction business, said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items (EBIDTA) were £45.3m, but the exceptionals resulted in a £1.5m pre-tax loss.

The largest of these charges was £12.4m, due to the postponement of building work on the Trinity Walk shopping development in Wakefield last year, which Shepherd was main contractor. However, work is set to restart on the scheme.

Other exceptional costs were commercial property revaluation (£7.8m) and reorganisation costs (£4.9m).

The Group's turnover for the year fell by 2.3% to £701m (2008: £717.5m).

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Shepherd employs around 3,300 people, its operations divided into three divisions: industrial; construction and engineering, which includes Shepherd Construction; and property, which comprises Shepherd Developments and Shepherd Homes.

Group chairman Alan Fletcher said: “In the face of such challenging market conditions, the business continues to generate cash and the balance sheet is exceptionally strong, particularly in comparison with competitors.

"Debt is a modest 14.7% of shareholders’ funds and the group is operating well within bank facilities, which were recently renewed on favourable terms in the present climate.

“The group’s 2009 earnings of £45.3m is, I believe, a good level in the current recession. For comparison, the 2007 figure of £53.4m, the highest in the group’s history, was recorded in much more favourable conditions."

However, Fletched added that the recovery remained "sporadic and fragile", with reduced orders in the industrial and construction and engineering divisions leading to a number of "unavoidable" redundancies.

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