Exceptional costs mount up at LEP

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LEP Group, the freight forwarding group recently rescued by David James and its banks' debt- for-equity swap, has incurred another pounds 3.4m of restructuring costs since publication of its 1991 accounts three weeks ago.

LEP's first-half results also show another pounds 2.2m of refinancing costs on top of the pounds 10.3m it had already spent on bankers, lawyers and other advisers.

Mr James, chairman, said his review of operations was expected to result in further exceptional and extraordinary charges in the full-year 1992 accounts.

These exceptional debits left LEP with an interim pre-tax loss of pounds 14.1m against a profit last year of pounds 1.9m. The company was weighed down by the pounds 22.3m burden of interest charges. These will fall because of the refinancing.

A representative of ADT, the security services group that owned 27 per cent of LEP before it was swamped by the banks in the refinancing, opposed the adoption of the 1991 accounts at an extraordinary meeting of shareholders yesterday. Price Waterhouse was appointed as LEP's new auditors.

LEP's turnover fell from pounds 749.1m to pounds 644.9m, mostly due to discontinued operations.