Pochin’s concrete talks collapse

Pochin shares fell by 22% after it told the Stock Exchange the anticipated sale of its loss-making concrete division had fallen through.

The Cheshire-based construction and development group's interim management statement said the sale had negotiations had reached an advanced stage but unfortunately 'did not reach a successful conclusion'. Pochin said talks had resumed with other interested parties but gave no further details about the identity of prospective bidders.

Shares slipped back 7p to 25p, valuing the business at £5.25m.

Elsewhere in the statement, the firm said the construction division 'continued to deliver the improvement in performance referred to in the half year report. Secured work has increased and the division has a strong order book for next year.'

On development and investment, 'the group's portfolio continues to perform well with few tenant defaults or voids arising. Progress has been achieved in the non-core asset disposal programme.'

Overall, the company expects its year-end results will be hit by the failure to sell the concrete pumping business.

Pochin concluded: "The group's core activities of construction and commercial property investment and development are performing well in current market conditions."

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