Rain hits Hozelock forecasts
Saturday 26 July 1997
Analysts wiped around pounds 4m from their profit forecasts for this year in the light of the warning, leaving expectations at around pounds 6.5m to pounds 7m.
The latest black cloud to overshadow Hozelock has scudded in from a blue sky. Earlier this year it was fears over the exceptionally dry spring which were hitting the share price, amid reports that the UK was "enjoying" the driest two years since the 18th century. The possibility that the water companies would have to reintroduce widespread hosepipe bans sent the shares spiralling downwards from a high of 488p in February, prompting the company to issue a statement in April that in fact it was enjoying "ideal selling conditions" of good weather with fewer water restrictions. Trading was said to be "substantially" ahead of last year.
All that has gone into reverse since June, which was "a diabolical month" according to Hozelock's chief executive, David Codling. The period totted up total rainfall of 113mm, three-times the long-run average and getting on for four-times the 31mm recorded in June 1996. To add to Hozelock's woes, the strong pound is hitting the third of its sales exported to Europe.
Although half the foreign business is covered by hedging contracts taken out last September, the currency effect would shear pounds 1m from profits this year, the company warned. Geoff Douglas of Barclays de Zoete Wedd said trading may come back next year, assuming a more normal summer, but there could be a much bigger impact from currency. He expects to cut his 1998 forecast from pounds 12m to around pounds 8m.
Hozelock said the recent departure of operations director Paul Snowden, who sold pounds 9,800-worth of shares at 426p in June, had no connection with the latest profits warning.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Worst Airports of 2014: Poll names Islamabad airport in Pakistan worst in the world
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...
£27000 per annum + pension, 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ind...
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...