Duncan Web Offset has sold its Tovil site for more than 4m, freeing the firm to complete the move to its new Parkwood plant in Maidstone
Duncan Web Offset has sold its Tovil site for more than 4m, freeing the firm to complete the move to its new Parkwood plant in Maidstone.
Chairman Bill Duncan said the group expected to exchange contracts imminently. Local planners recently approved the use of the Tovil site for housing, which increased its value considerably. "Planning permission took slightly longer than anticipated but the move to Parkwood will go ahead according to schedule," Duncan said.
The group has also announced its results for 2000, showing strong growth in sales in the web offset business, which were up 15% to 21m. Profits were reduced by a 500,000 exceptional charge to cover the costs of running two factories, and the start-up of the first of two 48pp Lithomans at Parkwood. Net profit after interest and exceptionals was 550,000.
The 9.2m spend over the year saw borrowings increase by 48% to 8m, which was funded from group resources.
"We are in the middle of a big investment programme and wanted to pay off our debt very quickly," added Duncan. "Despite this our sales grew and not everyone can say that, and our borrowings are still a lot lower than some I can mention. The market is difficult and everyone is expecting someone to go bust it wont be us."
The sale will allow Duncan to borrow 2m to complete the Maidstone move. The two 32pp G16 webs at the old plant will be decommissioned in August, with the Heidelberg M600 and binding kit transferred to Parkwood in the first half of next year, joining the 48pp Lithoman that is already up and running there. A second 48pp Lithoman is being installed in April 2002.
Story by Jo Francis