The company, floated at 153p a share, blamed tough trading in April and said lost business would not be recouped in the year. Profits for this year would be 'somewhat less' than 1993's pounds 4.1m.
Analysts had forecast about pounds 4.8m. One said: 'It does not sound right that a company should be making a major trading statement on the basis of one month's figures. They are going to lose a lot of friends.'
Allan Binks, chairman, said in February that with the continuing UK economic recovery United was 'well- placed to take advantage of its potential for profitable growth in the future'.
United's directors were yesterday said to be in meetings and not available for comment. A company statement said freight volumes were down 5 per cent in April. United also lost business because it did not react fast enough to rivals' price cuts.
Business in February and March was on target, and the cash position remained satisfactory, the statement said.Reuse content