Gavin Slark: focusing on margin recovery.

5.1% fall for BSS first-half revenues

Published:  24 November, 2009

LEICESTER: Specialist trades distributor, the BSS Group reported a decline in first-half profit, as revenues dropped across all segments.

In its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 September, revenue declined 5.1% to £650.6m from £685.9m – 3% down on last year on an equivalent trading day basis.

Revenue from the Industrial Division in the latest period was £168.9m, down 10% from same period one year ago.

The company's Domestic Division revenue dropped by £3.8m to £430.5m and the Specialist Division's revenue decreased £11.7m from last year to £51.2m – a like-for-like decrease of 17.1%as contraction in the UK manufacturing and construction activity adversely affected trade.

New branches across the Group contributed £20.6m of revenue growth in the period, reflecting 10 branches opened and the impact in the half of last year's 30 branch openings.

Looking forward, the company said market conditions are expected to remain challenging throughout 2010.

On the plus side, trading performance to-date for October and November has been in line with its expectations. These two months are important for the Group, due to the seasonality of sales in its Domestic Division.

Gavin Slark, BSS Group chief executive, said: ''The board remains confident that the Group will continue to make progress in the second half of the financial year by outperforming the market.

"We expect revenue and earnings to be lower than last year and have planned on this basis. We are focusing on margin recovery and achieving further productivity and efficiency improvements.''

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