Bottom Line: Harrisons pigs out
Thursday 31 March 1994
Bill Turcan, finance director and soon to be chief executive, is refreshingly critical of his company's performance in certain areas. Profits at Harcros timber and building supplies in the UK were, for example, up by 47 per cent to pounds 15.9m on a 7.4 per cent volume gain, but lower gross margins cost pounds 5.1m in lost profit.
Profits gearing to volume is as strong in chemicals where profits also jumped by an underlying 30 per cent to pounds 40m with additional help from past cost-cutting. Of major strategic moves, on top of the disposal of its Australian interests, there was no news yesterday.
Mr Turcan implied that its US builders merchanting side, whose poor market position and low returns look at odds with the rest of the portfolio, will be worked on. There seems no rush to get rid of Indonesian palm oil plantations as prices could firm up after a mystifying fall in the second half.
The company even supplied details of favourable mortality rates and feed conversion ratios in BOCM Pauls' pig-breeding operation to emphasise its underlying high efficiency. But pigs, whose pounds 7m turnround to losses of pounds 3.5m held group pre-tax profits down to pounds 98m in 1993, remain inherently volatile although a recent rise in prices has brought the activity back to break-even.
Timber and chemcials have entered 1994 with a spring in their step. Gearing to volume gains will probably lift pre-tax profits to pounds 135m this year and Smith New Court expects pounds 190m in 1995. By then the 9p dividend, uncovered in 1993 after an pounds 8.5m ACT write- off, will be covered twice and ready for a fresh advance.
A current yield of 5.4 per cent at 207p and a p/e falling from 17 prospective to 11.5 look attractive.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...