Metalrax loss

Birmingham-based Metalrax has announced a loss of £16.2m but said that revenues were up 6.6 per cent for the year ending 31 December 2008.

The supplier of specialist engineering consumer durables products reported an increase in revenues, up from £70.2m to £74.8m. The company also experienced a gross margin improvement of 1.4 per cent to 24.2 per cent and cash generation from operations remained strong at £5.2m.

However, due to difficult market conditions the results revealed £2m in operating profit before exceptional items, goodwill impairment and share-based payments compared with £2.6m in 2007, and overall the group made a loss of £16.2m compared with £7m a year earlier.

As a result the group has undertaken a strategy to focus on specialist engineering products in niche growth markets. In 2008, the company started the year with 21 operating businesses and finished it with 13. This year, the group has disposed of a further business and plans to continue its restructuring programme amid market uncertainty.

Andrew Richardson, group chief executive of Metalrax, said: ‘Current economic conditions re-affirm the need for the group’s repositioning into growing, defensible niche sectors in line with the January 2008 strategic review and we anticipate 2009 being a challenging year.

‘Although trading has improved slightly during the course of 2009, if this trend does not improve further over coming months, the directors would expect the group’s performance in the current year to fall below current market expectations.’