Spring Ram to show loss of 25m pounds

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NEW management at Spring Ram, the troubled kitchens, bathrooms and doors maker, is preparing to reveal losses of pounds 25m for the half year to 30 June.

It is understood that a sharp slump in trading profitability will be accompanied by substantial exceptional write-offs of stock.

Stock levels have risen steadily in recent years. The last balance sheet on 3 January showed they totalled pounds 52.4m, an increase of pounds 11m on the comparable figure the previous year.

The jump made Spring Ram's stocks equivalent to 27 per cent of the group's turnover, up from 21 per cent in 1991 and 17 per cent in 1989.

Interim results are due on 22 September. The management - recently bolstered by new blood - will want to use them to mark a clean break with the past. Spring Ram has had a disastrous 18 months during which its share price has slumped after three profits warnings.

Roger Regan, the new chairman, earned respect serving with AG Stanley - another building materials group. He has brought in Martin Towers as finance director and Richard Fortin as a second non-executive director.

Mr Regan has already ordered a full financial and operational review of the business. The accountancy firm Price Waterhouse has been brought in to help with the new chairman's review.

PW's involvement has led to speculation that it may replace Arthur Andersen as auditor to the company. The role of Panmure Gordon, Spring Ram's stockbroker, is also under review.

Mr Regan and his new team are examining the viability of its Regency Doors operation, which is said to be losing money at an alarming rate. A source close to the company reckons Regency Doors is losing pounds 1m a month.