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Poor trading conditions cause further losses at Hunt division

FINANCE

LOSSES deepened at John F Hunt's demolition arm last year after the Essex-based firm continued to suffer difficult trading conditions.

The company's turnover from demolition work rose £1.3 million to £15.6 million in the year to September 2003, but losses deepened to £228,718 from £135,665 in the previous year.

A company statement said: 'Group turnover increased during the year due to the acquisition of Thameside Lifting in the previous year and the improved performance of John F Hunt Hire Centres.

'The group suffered a reduction in its gross margin due to difficult trading conditions.'

Profits at the plant and equipment hire business surged to £310,189 from £42,405, as turnover rose £1.9 million to £8.1 million.

With group operating profits halving to £212,66, its margins fell to 1 per cent.