Automotive half-year profits soar

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The Independent Online
AUTOMOTIVE Products, the main vehicle components subsidiary of BBA, yesterday reported almost tripled taxable profits to pounds 8.7m for the half-year to 30 June, writes Neil Thapar.

The results were achieved on sales up from pounds 140m to pounds 149m and reflect the benefits of a sweeping cost-cutting programme.

The profits growth came despite pounds 1.3m of exceptional costs, compared with a pounds 300,000 surplus at the same time last year.

The group's interest costs, however, were trimmed from pounds 1.8m to pounds 1.6m, although the tax charge doubled to pounds 1m.

With no further charges below the line following a pounds 3.5m extraordinary bill last time, the group's retained profits amounted to pounds 4.3m against pounds 1.4m.

The company, which is owned by Guthrie - in turn owned by BBA - said that the trading environment continued to be tough.

'The worldwide recession continues to affect all our markets. Whilst profit and sales showed welcome improvement, demand was fickle and margin improvement hard earned,' the company, based in Leamington Spa, said.

'We continue to adjust our cost base in anticipation of continuing difficulties in the market.

'The exceptional debit of pounds 1.7m reflects the continuing severity of the conditions and our determination to avail outselves of the productivity gains available.'

Last year the company reported full-year taxable profits of pounds 5.7m.