Howitt pulls off turnaround with 1.2m profit

Jo Francis
Thursday, May 5, 2005

Howitts maiden results show the business is back on track after being rescued out of receivership last year.

For the 11 months to 31 December 2004 the business posted sales of 32.6m, with EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of 3.1m and pre-tax profits of 1.2m.

Comparisons with the previous performance of J Howitt & Son are difficult, as that company did not file its 2002 accounts before it was placed into administrative receivership in January 2004. The 2001 accounts of J Howitt & Son showed a pre-tax profit of 529,000 on sales of just under 35m.

Howitt chief executive Nick Dixon (pictured) described the results as "a credit to the people in the business".

"For the first three months we were trying to get it working and we had to put lots of money in to get the cashflow going," he said. "Everyone at Howitt pulled out all the stops. These results are better than most but we have to keep pushing all the time hence our capex plans."

The results include 377,000 in redundancy and severance costs. The buy-in trio of Dixon, finance director Rick Taylor and non-executive chairman Mike Hunter took on 12.5m of finance leases and loans with the business.

This week Howitt also confirmed that its new B1 press will be a six-colour Mitsubishi Diamond 3000LX. See separate story here.

By Jo Francis


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