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Howarth Timber defies squeeze

HOWARTH Timber has seen pre-tax profits rise by more than a third despite the squeeze on the construction sector.

The importer and supplier of timber to builders' merchants increased turnover by almost £1m to £121.5m as pre-tax profits increased from £1.1m to £1.5m.

Howarth said it had focused on controlling costs and increasing margins over the year.

Three of the company's five divisions made operating profits however its engineered timber operation suffered from its exposure to the house-building and constructions sectors with operating losses growing from £3.1m to £3.8m.

The timber and building supplies division, which accounts for more than 45% of group turnover, saw revenue rise 1% to 55.3m with operating profits trebling to £1.4m for the year to the end of March.

Looking ahead, the firm's latest directors' report says: "Trading conditions remain challenging during the new financial year, due to continuing industry concerns surrounding the instability of timber prices, increasing energy costs, and particularly the impact of the general economic situation on the new build housing sector as public sector cuts kick in and the recovery remains doggedly slow, all of which are expected to continue to impact on the results of the group in the next 12 months.

"However, having taken positive steps to reduce the losses within the timber engineering businesses, the group are hoping to get full value from the strong performances at Howarth Timber & Building Suppliers and Arbor Forest."

Source : James Reed – The Business Desk.com, Yorkshire
www.thebusinessdesk.com/yorkshire/news/361784-howarth-timber-defies-squeeze.html?

24 August 2012
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