Salvesen faces shareholder anger despite split plans
Tuesday 10 June 1997
But despite the news, the group, which earlier this year ran into a storm of controversy over the break-up proposals and pounds 150m payout to shareholders whipped up by its former chairman, Sir Gerald Elliot, is likely to face stiff questioning from its Scottish shareholders at a meeting in Edinburgh this morning.
The shares have underperformed since management led by Chris Masters, chief executive, rejected a pounds 1.1bn bid approach from rivals Hays last August.
Unchanged at 236.5p yesterday, the shares are well below the Hays offer, which would have been worth just short of 497p, even after taking account of a 17p special dividend and share consolidation.
Asked whether he was facing difficulties with his shareholders, Mr Masters said yesterday: "None of us is happy with where the share price is", but he said he remained committed to the demerger proposals.
"I am totally convinced that the demergers are exactly the right thing to do, because we have got two strong businesses. I am not a fan of conglomerates, never have been.
"We are also removing uncertainty. I still believe these two businesses will deliver value. I guess we will judge the success of the demerger on how the two businesses trade in the first year."
He was speaking as Salvesen unveiled an 11 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to pounds 85.9m for the year to March on sales up 6.6 per cent at pounds 746m. A final dividend of 5.35p raises the total for the year by 5.8 per cent to 9.15p, payable from earnings per share up from 18.8p to 19.4p.
Although Mr Masters highlighted underlying profits growth above 20 per cent from the Aggreko and Swift industrial logistics operations, analysts remained sceptical about the group's ability to maintain these figures. One said people were waiting for the demerger to pass judgment, but were anyway questioning the sustainability of this performance.
"The senior management of Salvesen does not have much support and the feeling is that, in the past, something has always come up and grabbed them," he said.
The half-way figures were hit by pounds 1m of costs incurred defending the group from the Hays bid and pounds 2.3m in professions fees and other charges as a result of the capital reconstruction and special dividends.
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 4 Exclusive: Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
MH17 crash: Investigators discover more human remains and 'huge section of plane'
Susan Sarandon on David Bowie romance: 'He's worth idolising'
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Exclusive: Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
iJobs Money & Business
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...