Aga loss widens ahead of £129m takeover by US firm

The AGA foundry and factory in Shropshire
The AGA foundry and factory in Shropshire
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Upmarket stove maker Aga Rangemaster today said costs linked to its £129 million takeover by a US group had pushed it deeper into the red in the first half.

The firm, which last month agreed the 185p a share offer from commercial catering equipment firm Middleby, said increased pension charges and professional costs associated with the bid resulted in a pre-tax loss of £4m for the six months to the end of June, compared with £300,000 a year earlier.

However, revenues edged up 1.5 per cent to £125.4 – despite the year starting “slowly” ahead of the general election. Aga said that, following the vote, there was a “marked change in attitude” as increased consumer confidence and household incomes fed through into spending on homes and house moves.

Shareholders vote on the Middleby deal early next month, with the deal expected to complete on 23 September.

Aga chief executive William McGrath said: “Our product investment programmes have ensured we are ready to benefit from the improving trading backcloth. Working with Middleby should provide additional momentum to enable our operations to thrive.”