£7.5 million loss for Ainscough

UK based Ainscough Crane Hire has reported a sharp drop in revenues, resulting in a £7.53 million pre-tax loss.

It is difficult to compare this year with last, as the change in ownership led to a change in the fiscal year, resulting in 2019 being a 71 week year to the end of September 2019. This year it is back to a normal 52 week year.

Total revenues for the full year to the end of September were £74.53 million. If we do a simple pro rata calculation on the extended 2019 year revenues of £123.1 million, it would - on a simplistic basis - equate to roughly £90 million for 52 weeks, suggesting a 17.5 percent fall in sales. The 2019 pre-tax profit was 1.06 million, equating to around £750,000 for a normal 52 week year, which compares to the £7.53 million loss for 2020. This is mostly down to lower volumes, but also some exception costs relating to advisors’ fees, refinancing and property leasehold changes.

Net assets dropped from £79.6 million to £49.3 million, mostly due to a sharp drop in debtors and cash at bank. The company says that while business has picked up uncertainties remain, however planned infrastructure spending is expected to provide a further boost to revenues.

A company spokesman said: “Following the first covid-19 lock down utilisation went from 75% to 25% overnight, Ainscough were then appointed as key workers for national infrastructure clients. Between March and September we saw revenues improving month on month to return to pre-pandemic levels in October. Our year end number in September 2020 clearly had the full covid-19 impact built in. The good news is as the market continues to improve is the £30 million investment in 37 new cranes from our owners Blackstone which demonstrates their confidence in Ainscough and the future pipeline of work.”

Vertikal Comment

Another challenging year for Ainscough. While it is hard to compare with the prior year it looks as though the business saw a 20 percent reduction, which is unlikely to quickly bounce back. The business is possibly in a better place in terms of management and should pick up more than its fair share of the government infrastructure spending, but the true test will be how this year pans out for the company. And that is far from certain.


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