County Durham-based Hargreaves Services says it has experienced a “challenging and rewarding year”, reporting a loss but growing its surface mining business “to become the key coal producer and distributor in the UK market”.
The assertions were included in a report posted on the London Stock Exchange, along with preliminary results for year ended May 31, 2013.
Last year, Hargreaves suffered a number of setbacks, including the closure of the Maltby mine in South and the discovery of a fraud in its Belgian business, incurring costs that led to an overall loss of loss of £49.6m, compared to the £30.8m profit reported in 2012.
The group, however, reported revenues from continuing operations of £843.3m, an increase of £225.4m over the previous year, with strong performances in coal distribution and from Hargreaves’ core material handling services business.
Underlying pre-tax profit from continuing operations increased from £49.3m to £52.2m, and the acquisition of surface mining assets from ATH Resources, completed in May 2013, would replace Maltby as a source of indigenous coal.
Chairman Tim Ross said: “It has been both a challenging and rewarding year. Whilst the group suffered setbacks at both Maltby and in Belgium, we have made significant strategic progress. Following a successful equity raise in April, the group has accelerated the development of its surface mining business to become the key coal producer and distributor in the UK market.”
“We are confident our UK business model is robust and will continue to generate cash and profits,” said chief executive Gordon Banham.