Johnston plunges to interim loss

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The Independent Online
JOHNSTON Group, the civil engineering, property and road sweeping equipment group, has plunged from a pounds 1.25m taxable profit to a pounds 640,000 loss in the first half to 30 June, writes Neil Thapar.

The interim payout has been halved to 2.25p, pushing the shares 14p lower to 120p yesterday.

The loss, on virtually unchanged group turnover of pounds 58m, reflects reduced demand and tighter margins due to recession.

Group interest charges jumped from pounds 644,000 to pounds 779,000.

The company said that its UK contracting and construction arm achieved similar results to last year. However, the Caribbean operations, which completed several contracts, were hit by delays in new projects, leading to a loss.

The chairman, Graham Johnston, said that he does not expect an improvement in the second- half performance.

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