Hunterprint makes fifth year's loss

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TOUGH trading conditions and property write-offs have led to a fifth consecutive full-year loss at Hunterprint, the Corby-based printer, writes Neil Thapar.

The pre-tax deficit amounted to pounds 3.2m for the year to 30 September against a pounds 12m loss in 1992 on sales down from pounds 51m to pounds 46m.

Tony Caplin, chief executive, warned that trading conditions continued to be difficult. 'There is no guarantee of a market recovery in 1994. Even with the (enhanced) level and nature of contract orders, the company remains vulnerable to competitive pricing,' Mr Caplin said.

'Uncertainty in the market place, due mainly to the Budget, reduced overall activity in the first quarter of this year,' he added.

Hunterprint incurred a pounds 463,000 exceptional charge reflecting provisions against leasehold properties.

Despite an pounds 18m refinancing in December 1992 - its third - borrowings soared from about pounds 13.3m to pounds 18m last year, largely due to capital investment to cope with new orders.

The shares dipped 2p to 25p.