Twelve months ago Ransomes looked doomed. It made net losses for four years on the trot. Ordinary dividends were nothing but a distant memory and the company had also passed on its preference share obligation.
Crippled by debts incurred by an ill-timed US acquisition in 1989, it was struggling through a sustained period of weak demand for its products.
After pressure from institutional shareholders, Peter Wilson, ex-BTR, was given the helm. Admittedly he has been helped by a kinder economic climate in the US and the UK.
But the near doubling of profit margins owes more to the implentation of cost efficiencies and a reinvigorated marketing strategy.
Most impressive has been the way Ransomes updated its product range with a keen eye on the US golf course market.
At 42p, up 12p yesterday, annualised first-half profit indicate a p/e of only 6 but there is as yet no dividend news.
The shares have risen by 240 per cent since the Independent recommended a purchase in January. They should still be bought despite the prospect of a rights issue to pay off debt next year and the uncertainty about the resumption of dividends.Reuse content