Sale of warehouse sites boosts cash and carry group

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The Independent Online

The sale of the three Cargo Club warehouse sites to Sainsbury's earlier this year has boosted profits at cash and carry group Nurdin & Peacock.

Nurdin sold the sites for pounds 45m but received only pounds 8.1m after closure costs and write downs. The cash injection caused Nurdin's profits to jump to pounds 16m in the six months to June compared to pounds 8.9m for the same period last year.

David Sims, chief executive since May, said: "We have bounced back after a difficult year and, with Cargo Club out of the way, we can concentrate on running cash and carries."

Mr Sims said the integration of the M6 cash and carry chain acquired last year was going well and that most outlets were now trading successfully under the new TBW (Trade and Business Warehouse) format. The company is looking for further acquisitions and at the end of June had pounds 15m cash.

Nurdin is still involved in a legal dispute with former chief executive, David Poole, who was instrumental in the development of Cargo Club. Dickie Fulford, chairman, said that Nurdin hopes for an amicable settlement in the next few weeks. Mr Poole was on a three-year contract of pounds 176,000 a year when he left last October, and is claiming compensation. There have been no further developments in Nurdin's "friendly but distant" relationship with Dutch group SHV Makro. SHV owns a 15 per cent stake in the group and earlier attempted to win control.

In the first half, group sales increased by 15 per cent to pounds 780m. The interim dividend was increased by 5 per cent to 2.27p, and shares fell 3p to 187p.