Havelock surges as shopfitting order book swells

Shopfitting specialist Havelock Europa saw its shares jump today after reporting a boost to its order book.

Havelock Europa chief executive David Ritchie

The Fife-based interiors firm, which issued a profit warning in November, also said that its cost-cutting efforts, including a 10 per cent reduction in its workforce, were “gaining momentum”.

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In a trading update ahead of its annual results, Havelock said it was debt free as of 31 December with a net cash balance of £1 million – that compares with a figure of £200,000 a year earlier.

Chief executive David Ritchie added: “We are beginning to see the benefits of the measures taken in late 2015 and, although trading continues to be challenging, particularly in the retail sector, we are encouraged to enter 2016 with an order book of £23m for in-year delivery which is 15 per cent up on 2015.”

Shares rose more than 31 per cent following the update to investors.

In September, Havelock announced heavy job losses and the sale of its educational supplies business, Teacherboards, as part of a shake-up aimed at saving £3m a year.

The company, which today said that trading in the final three months of 2015 was in line with its expectations, is due to report its full-year results on 14 April.