04.10.2001

Baldwins suffers shares blow

Baldwins Industrial Services PLC has been hit by a shares value decline of 50%, closing at 67.5p on October 2.

In a statement released on the same day from the heavy lift specialist, MD Richard Baldwin announced that the interim report for the six months to 30 September, which will be published in November, shows that the group’s operating profitability has fallen substantially below expectations over the last few weeks.

Several major factors have contributed to the situation – the first being the collapse this summer of its insurers, Independent Insurance. Baldwins will suffer a loss of £1m in the year ending March 2001 as a result. Secondly, the Heavy Crane division of the company has performed below expectations, which is a major blow to the Group’s UK profitability, not compensated by consistent custom for other Baldwins equipment. To further impact the situation, UK profit before tax has suffered due to increased operational costs, and the group as a whole has felt the negative effects of a strong £ sterling against the US dollar and other currencies so far in this financial year.

The group, whose UK operation alone has a fleet of over 400 mobile, crawler and tower cranes, is also suffering from considerable uncertainty about its US operations. Although revenues have been above last year’s, the management’s ambitious targets have not been met. Cost reduction plans have been pushed into action. The caution provoked by events since September 11 is likely to result in much reduced earnings this year, although confidence remains high in the long term future of the American depots.

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