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  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 17/04/2009 |

Optare Group says the weakness of Sterling against the Euro increased costs and contract delays hit operating profit in 2008.

Shares in Optare slumped 1.625p to 6.25p each, which values the bus manufacturer at £6.78m.

Optare had hoped to move all its production on to one site but the developer has been unable to complete the facility. Optare will stay in its current factories although there will be some costs related to the abortive consolidation. 

Higher stock levels mean that net debt ended 2008 at £9.4m.

The 2008 figures will be published on 27 May.  Turnover of £49.2m is expected. The current order book is worth £37.4m.

Even so, demand is weakening as local authorities’ funding is delayed and some operators find it difficult to raise finance to buy new buses. 

Leyland Trucks boss Jim Sumner joins as chief executive on 1 June 2009. The previous chief executive Andrew Brian left in December 2008.

Optare is investing in new products. They include the Solo EV, an all electric, zero emissions midi-bus. Production of this bus will start in the second half of 2009.

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