Swan Hill shares fall after bid talks called off
Saturday 06 March 1999
Swan, which was formed when the old Higgs and Hill sold its construction business two years ago, also announced pre-tax profits for 1998 down 32 per cent to pounds 3.1 million.
John Theakston, group chief executive, said Swan will pay back pounds 15m to shareholders over the next 12-18 months. Swan will also divert pounds 50m of capital in the next three years from its property development side to housebuilding, mostly in the South of England. This will nearly double the total capital devoted to housebuilding to about pounds 90m.
Mr Theakston acknowledged the market's unhappy reaction but pointed out that the shares had stood at around 40p before the multiple bid approaches earlier in the year, which pushed the price up to the mid-70s. The unsolicited offers had come from both the property and housebuilding sectors, Mr Theakston said. He added: "The board felt we could realise shareholder value better by pursuing our new strategy.
"We decided that property development and housebuilding together are not easy for investors to value, and that concentrating on housebuilding will make things more transparent," the chief executive said.
"We doubled housebuilding profits last year and our operating margins in that division are 14 per cent, which is good by industry standards."
Last year Swan's turnover slipped to pounds 76.4 m from pounds 88.4m the previous year. Swan proposed a final dividend of 1.8p, making a total of 3p, up 9 per cent.
- 1 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...
£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...