New name and return to profits

Shareholders of engineer Hopkinson Group will be asked to approve a name change to Carbo in June at the annual general meeting. Carbo is the industrial abrasives maker Hopkinson acquired six years ago and which now accounts for 80% of the business. The new name will mark the group’s return to profits and should also […]

Shareholders of engineer Hopkinson Group will be asked to approve a name change to Carbo in June at the annual general meeting.

Carbo is the industrial abrasives maker Hopkinson acquired six years ago and which now accounts for 80% of the business. The new name will mark the group’s return to profits and should also take account of the disposal of other interests.

Another reason for the name change is that a valves business the company sold to Weir trades as Hopkinson, which causes confusion. `And with the recent sale of Bryan Donkin’s compressors, there’s virtually nothing of the old Hopkinson interests left in our group,’ said Ken Jackson, chief executive.

He joined the board with the Carbo takeover as a non-executive director and took charge four years ago. Since then he has sold assets with sales of £23.9m making £600,000 profit and bought businesses with £10.2m sales making £700,000 profits and with big potential growth.

Jackson has just reported a turnround from a £3m pre-tax loss in 1996 to profits of £800,000 in the year to last January. During that time the company wrote off £6.9m of goodwill on the sale of businesses brought very expensively by the previous management.

Operating profits from abrasives were up 158% at £2m. Drainage products, which lost £800,000 because of restructuring the Swiss plant, should break-even.

Stockbroker Henry Cooke forecast £2.8m pre-tax for 1997 to 1998, rising to £4.3m the year after.