Like-for-like revenue in the UK fell by 22% in the first ten months or 28% after making adjustments for the acquisition of The Platform Company (completed in April 2008) while the formation of EPL Skylift has removed around ВЈ1.5m of annual costs. Chief executive Kevin Appleton said there were no imminent plans for further radical changes and capital expenditure for the year will be around ВЈ5m more than disposals.
Spain recorded the biggest drop in revenue (41% or 33% in sterling terms) while in Germany the fall was 13% and France and Belgium were down by 19%. LavendonвЂ™s Middle East operation recorded a 20% rise in turnover, which equates to a sterling increase of 45%.ADVERTISEMENT
The company also announced it is to raise ВЈ53.9 million (before expenses) by an Open Offer of 77 million New Ordinary Shares at 70p and another ВЈ26.9m through a Firm Placing of 38.5 million shares. The 70p price tag represents a 45% discount on LavendonвЂ™s 128p closing price on 18 November and once the New Share are admitted for trading on 14 December, the expected share price will be 88p.
The money raised will be used to reduce the companyвЂ™s net debt which currently stands at ВЈ267m. Group finance director Alan Merrell expects the share offer and the ongoing debt reduction from its current trading will see net debt stand at ВЈ180m by the end of the year.
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