Gibbs & Dandy still in takeover talks

After what Gibbs & Dandy have described as “two challenging years”, they have confirmed in their annual results that the group is still in discussions about selling the company.

Gibbs & Dandy still in takeover talks

The brief reiteration of an announcement made back in February confirmed the company were still in “early stage discussions, which might lead to an offer for the whole of the share capital of the company”. The announcement followed “press speculation and movement in share price”. That speculation was that one of the nationals, and most likely Wolseley, had made an offer of 400p per share. The group have said they will make a further announcement in due course.

No one from Gibbs & Dandy was immediately available for comment, but both and BMJ will following this story closely and will bring you the news as it comes available.

In terms of the company’s results, sales for the period to December 31 were “pleasing, as they rose 7% to £62.54m. Underlying operating profit rose 9.1% to £4.40m compared with £4.03m in 2006. And, the trend has continues into this year with sales in the first two months of 2008 9.1% above last year.

“2007 was a year of contrasting trading conditions,” said the company announcement. “After a slow start sales activity came to life with the warm weather in the spring and we were able to report an increase in turnover of 6.4% for the first half compared with the first six months of 2006.

“Trading in the second half was more subdued and although sales for the year as a whole increased by 7.0%, this was partly a reflection of having an additional branch. The effect of the uncertainty in the financial services sector, rising interest rates and their joint impact on the housing market and consumer confidence began to be felt during the final quarter of the year.”

What’s in store for the 11-strong chain rather depends on who has control of the company, but the results included the following statement: “The outlook for the economy generally and for our sector in particular is very difficult to predict but most commentators are forecasting a reduction in economic growth as compared with 2007. It is difficult to gauge the overall impact of this on our business or how long these conditions may last.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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