BSS conditions remain “challenging”

Revenue for the first 16 weeks of plumbing and heating merchant BSS Group’s latest financial year fell 5.6% compared to last year, according to the group’s management statement.

BSS conditions remain 'challenging'

Total group revenue was £369.5m and the industrial and commercial and specialist divisions are “being drawn into the downturn, whilst the Domestic Division is holding up better against last year. ”

The statement continues: “Further progress has been made on reducing the cost base of the Group to achieve optimum resourcing levels for contracting markets. Like for like costs in the period are 7.2% below last year. Further cost savings of £5m (annualised) are being implemented and represent a further 2% reduction in the cost base.”

The Group believes the business will continue to see weaker demand in the financial year 2009/10, with the Industrial and Specialist sectors finding it especially tough.

“The Group’s financial position remains strong, net debt to EBITDA at 31 March 2009 was 1.2 times, and there have been no material events or transactions affecting the Group in the period, other than the previously announced acquisition of DHS for £5.7m in April 2009.

“The Group anticipates being cash positive in financial year 2009/10 and its uncommitted borrowing facilities as at 31 March 2009 were £110m. These facilities have maturity beyond March 2012.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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