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Sat July 31 2021

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Ainscough slumps to £7.5m loss

15 Jul Ainscough Crane Hire showed a loss of £7.5m before tax in its latest accounts as the Covid pandemic hit turnover.

In the year to 25th September 2020 Ainscough Crane Hire Ltd turned over £74.5m and made an operating loss of £7.9m.

Pre-tax loss was £7.5m and total net assets decreased to £49.4m (2019: £79.6m).

This compares to £123.1m turnover in the 71 weeks to September 2019 (Ainscough has changed its financial year-end) an operating loss of £1.1m. It made a pre-tax profit of £1.7m last time thanks to income from shares in group undertakings.

The financial year-end change was made after a change in ownership on 13th September 2109, when Oaktree Capital Management sold out to GSO Capital Partners, part of the private equity firm Blackstone Group. GSO is the fourth group of investors to have ownership of Ainscough Crane Hire since brothers Martin, Brendan and James Ainscough sold up in 2007.

The latest loss included £3.2m of exceptional administrative expenses relating to refinancing, restructuring, implementation of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and a dilapidation provision against leasehold premises. The accounts for the previous 71 weeks show £8.3m of exceptional administrative expenses.

Only 70 of Ainscough’s 400+ mobile cranes meet the latest Stage IV emissions standards but it aims to increase the ratio to 25% this year.

The directors said that the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted demand for the company’s services but it expects things to improve “as a result of the UK government’s ‘build, build, build’ strategy”.

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