Alexanders loses pounds 1m and drops previous profits

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ALEXANDERS Holdings, the Ford main dealer, yesterday declared pre-tax losses of almost pounds 1m for the year to 30 September, and restated previous years' profits down by pounds 1.57m.

The adjustments were made after new management, led by Roger Humm, former managing director of Ford UK, completed a review of the entire group, instigated by Aleksandra Clayton, the chairwoman, last April. The accounts for 1990/1 have been restated to show pre-tax profits of pounds 405,000, against the pounds 701,000 announced at the time.

Mr Humm's appointment followed the departure of the group's former managing director, Colin Stevenson, in March. In November the auditors, Sharles, resigned after an independent review by Clark Whitehill.

The review concluded that inadequate provisions had been made for losses in the group's contract-hire business, and that Alexanders' used-car and property assets were overvalued. As a result, net assets have fallen from pounds 8m in 1991 to pounds 6.7m, and an exceptional charge of pounds 132,000 was taken in this year's profit-and-loss account.

The company operates three Ford main dealerships in Scotland and one in Northampton as well as a contract-hire business.

Mrs Clayton, who has a 56 per cent family stake in the company, said: 'I had a very weak board, with only one executive director who wanted to perform all the executive roles, but I am now very happy with the new professional management team.'

Mr Humm said: 'We're basically through the restructuring now, and we can now concentrate on the future.' The company's prospects depended to some extent on the performance of new Ford models, such as the Mondeo, he said. The shares lost 2p to 16p.