The planned disposals will be mainly in the materials handling business, leaving the group to concentrate on screening and crushing of rock, and will substantially clear outstanding debts, the company said yesterday. Managers who were alleged to have been aware of problems at Matbro as long ago as the middle of 1997 had now left the company. The shares rallied 30p to 100.5p but analysts warned that the delayed results for the year to 31 March are still likely to show a substantial loss.
The company warned at the time of the SFO enquiry that it faced losses of pounds 10m in the year to 31 March. Last month a second warning forecast losses would be around pounds 65m, including pounds 20m attributable to earlier years.