Havelock shares drop after half-year losses widen

SHARES in Havelock Europa dropped by 16 per cent yesterday after half-year losses at the Fife-based shop fitter widened by two-thirds following a “quiet” start to the year.

Havelock chief Eric Prescott 'happy' with firm's share price. Picture: Contributed

Chief executive Eric Prescott told The Scotsman that he expects a much busier second half thanks to contracts from the Post Office, a “major high street supermarket chain” and the conversion of Lloyds TSB branches back into Lloyds Bank and TSB outlets following their split.

He said the economic recovery was now translating through to retailers placing orders.

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Prescott also hailed overseas work with Marks & Spencer’s franchises in Asia and Primark in mainland Europe. He was satisfied with the firm’s share price performance despite yesterday’s fall.

“We’re sitting at about 19p, which is about right,” Prescott said. “The shares have had a strong run this week – and we’re not sure why because they were retail purchases – and they have reacted as you would expect.”

His comments came as Havelock Europa posted a widening in its pre-tax losses for the six months to 30 June to £2 million from £1.2m after revenues fell by 9 per cent to £34.2m.

Prescott said that he expected contracts to start coming through in its school fit-out business after the Treasury had agreed education budgets.

He said the firm would be bidding for work from the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), the Building Schools for the Future initiative in England and the 21st Century Schools & Education Capital Programme in Wales.

Shares closed down 3.6p at 18.75p.