Leigh hit by delay at new plant

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The Independent Online
WEAK demand for waste disposal and problems in commissioning new plant have led to a 42 per cent drop in profits at Leigh Interests, the rubbish company.

Pre-tax profits for the six months to 30 September were pounds 4.1m against pounds 7.1m on sales down 11 per cent at pounds 52.3m.

The company's problems were made worse by delays in opening new works in Wolverhampton. The plant was expected to be in operation by the end of the interim period, but will not be up and running until next March.

Profits were also depressed by a higher interest charge. Leigh has spent heavily in building treatment plants, pounds 20m in the last financial year and pounds 15m this year.

Funding the capital spending pushed interest payments up to pounds 2.1m in the half, compared with pounds 990,000 last time.

Despite the poor profits performance, the shares rose 5p to 183p, boosted by investors buying the shares in anticipation of recovery in Leigh's markets.