The collapse of British Steel and Wolf Minerals left Hargreaves Services £16.1m out of pocket for the year ended 31 May, the company said today.

Publishing its full year accounts, Hargreaves Services said the cessation of trading at Wolf Minerals last October and the liquidation of British Steel in May turned it loss making in the period, though the company described its underlying performance as "satisfactory".

The loss came after Hargreaves Services recorded an £8.1m exceptional charge in regards Wolf Minerals, although it added that is retains a small presence at the Hemerdon mine, where it is carrying out minor maintenance and asset safeguarding.

While the future of British Steel is still to be determined, Hargreaves Services has made a £4.5m provision against trade debt and work in progress balances that are unlikely to be recovered. A further £3.5m has been recognised in respect of redundancy and other associated employment costs and equipment write downs, the company added.

Read more

The distribution and services business, which contains the transport and logistics elements of the Hargreaves Services group, saw turnover increase 4.7% to £293.8m (2018: £280.7m) despite this.

Underlying operating profit was £12.1m (2018: £12.9m) but, with the exceptional items included, distribution and services made an operating loss of £8.1m (2018: profit of £2m) in the period.

“In what has been a challenging year, the group has made progress towards its strategic objectives,” said company chairman Roger McDowell.

Group turnover was up 1.9% year on year at £302.6m (2018: £297.1m). The group’s pre-tax loss was £9.9m compared with a £500,000 profit a year ago.

Net debt was £17.9m (£30.8m) and a final dividend of 4.5p was maintained, meaning a full year dividend of 7.2p per share.