600 Group remains upbeat

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Machine tool manufacturer, the 600 Group, has posted a full-year loss of £8.9m for the financial year ending 28 March 2009.

Total sales for the year were down by two per cent to £76.2m and gross profit margins reduced to 27 per cent compared to 29 per cent in 2008. Loss from operations were £2.2m compared to a profit of £0.5m in 2008 and basic loss per share for continuing operations was at 13.3p.

The group said that the year had been challenging due to market conditions, however they had taken steps to rectify the situation through a restructuring programme which saw the loss of 210 employees and the closure of 12 sites.

The second phase of the restructuring programme has now begun with an estimated one-off cost of £2.5m leading to projected annualised savings of £5m.

The company said the next few months will remain challenging as markets are likely to stay subdued. This will impact the level of sales revenues, however new product strategies are expected to place the company in a strong position for the year ahead.

David Norman, chief executive of 600 Group, said: ‘This has been an exceptional year for the Group, not only in the light of the extremely difficult trading conditions and the major upheaval of our own restructuring process but, most importantly, our progress in creating a stronger 600 Group, better equipped not only to deal with current market conditions but also to deliver growth in the future.

‘There is still a great deal of work to do but I believe that the Group will soon be in a position to take advantage of any recovery as well as opportunities which may arise from the global downturn.’