Havelock acts to raise 3m pounds for restructuring

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HAVELOCK EUROPA, the troubled shopfitter headed by Sir Lewis Robertson, the company doctor, is raising about pounds 3m in an open offer to fund restructuring.

The offer, which is priced at 31p a share, was accompanied by a reduction in first-half losses from pounds 2.2m to pounds 1.6m for the period to 30 June, on sales down from pounds 17.4m to pounds 16m.

The results reflect difficult trading conditions that have reduced margins despite support from big customers, including Marks & Spencer.

Interest charges rose from pounds 306,000 to pounds 425,000 on group borrowings of pounds 6.8m, up from pounds 5.7m.

Sir Lewis said the new funds would strengthen the company's equity base and help with fresh cost-cutting. Although overheads were down from pounds 12.2m a year to pounds 9.2m, the new measures would take another pounds 3.5m off the group's costs by next year.

However, the move is expected to result in a total bill of pounds 800,000 relating to redundancies and asset write-offs.

The open offer is being partly placed with SAS Holdings, a metal ceiling designer, giving it a 3.8 per cent stake in the group.