Pochin prepares for offer update

Turnover at developer-contractor Pochin was down from £43m in the first half of last year to £38m in the same period of the current financial year, the company said ahead of Monday's deadline for an offer to take the company private.

Pre-tax profit was down from £602,000 last time to £286,000 in the six months to 30 November 2013. No interim dividend was proposed by the board.

The company said in a statement with its interim results on Wednesday: "On 9 December 2013 the Group announced that it had received an approach from James Nicholson [director and member of the Pochin family] and members of the Cedric Pochin concert party which may or may not lead to an offer for the group. On 6 January 2014, it was announced that the period had been extended during which the party making the approach is required either to declare a firm intention to make an offer or to announce that it does not intend to do so. The deadline was extended to Monday 3 February and therefore shareholders may expect a further announcement on or before that date."

During the first half of the financial year, the construction division maintained turnover and achieved profitability in line with last year.

Pochin added: "Immediately after the period end activity levels fell temporarily but they have now returned to normal following the commencement of replacement work. Forward orders remain at a satisfactory level."

The property development and investment divisions saw occupancy levels remain high. The company statement continued: "The division continues to pursue non-speculative development opportunities and in this connection work is progressing on the development of the Altrincham Hospital scheme for the Central Manchester University Hospital Foundation Trust."

At a group level borrowing remains contained within agreed bank facilities.

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