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Thu October 29 2020

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Loss-making Emerson borrows from pension fund

30 Jul Essex-based Emerson Crane Hire made a loss in financial 2019 as its sales dropped 11%.

For the year to 31st July 2019  Emerson Crane Hire made a pre-tax loss of £150,00 (2018: £197,000 profit) on turnover of £9.6m (2018: £11.0m).

Operating profit was down 61% to £208,000 (2018: £538,000).

Managing director Liam Clancy said: “The reduction in sales has been caused by several factors. Firstly, the uncertainty around Brexit led to several major contractors holding off on new project work and deferred to later years. Secondly, a few major joint venture projects reduced their requirements over the period.

"Finally, the business had a full review of its client base and reduced some of these based on their very low contribution to margin and profit.”

Profits had been eroded, he said, due to higher costs of insurance and fuel.

The company's annual finings reveal that since the end of the 2019 financial year, Emerson has borrowed £1.3m from its pension fund, the Emerson Crane Hire Retirement Benefit Scheme, to clear some of its hire purchase debt and use as working capital. The five-year loan is secured over seven cranes that the company owns.

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