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William Sinclair

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 06/06/2010 |

William Sinclair normally loses money in the first half but this year it made a profit.

The peat and horticultural products supplier normally makes all its profits in the second half because that is when the peat is harvested and sold. This year the peat harvest has started earlier than usual. Trading in April was strong and if the weather stays reasonably good Sinclair should be on its way to a very good year. 

A loss of £211,000 was turned into a profit of £187,000 in the six months to March 2010 even though revenues were slightly lower at £21.8m. Sinclair was self sufficient in peat during the period. Sales of peat free alternatives to peat are starting to build up and they will become increasingly important. The New Horizon peat free products grew sales by 44% in the six month period.

Larger civil projects are being affected by the recession and the poor winter weather did not help. However, Sinclair does have work for the Olympics. The decline of the Euro is making it easier for Sinclair’s customers to compete with European rivals. 

Net debt was £15m at the end of March 2010 but this is around the seasonal peak. That was before Sinclair received the initial £9m from Natural England for agreeing to end peat harvesting at Bolton Fell over the next few years. There will be more to come but the final compensation is still to be agreed. The cash will be spent on a new centralised site for Sinclair, which is actively looking for this site.

The interim dividend was increased by 50% to 1.5p a share.

At 108p a share, Sinclair is valued at £17.9m.

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