Cowie bids for Henlys
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• T Cowie has made a £27.9m bid for the Henlys Group which last week said it will make a loss for the half year to June mainly through a slump in work for its Scarborough-based PCV builder Plaxton.
The motor distributor says Plaxton would be the first part of the group it would want to develop. It already has interests in the PCV field with its Cleckheaton-based PCV dealer Hughes Daf and London-based coach operator Grey-Green.
Henlys promised its shareholders last week a 'major programme of cost reductions" at Scarborough. Group chief executive Robert Wood says management consultants were called in around five weeks ago, amid little prospect of a pick up in sales in the second half of the year: "As indicated at the annual general meeting in May, the market for buses and coaches
remains depressed, with registrations running at lower levels than the same period last year. There have also been some initial teething problems with the production of the new coach range," he told the City last week.
However, the half-year performance of the motor division, used coach activities, Roadlease Finance and parts and service division are expected to be broadly in line with budgeted objectives, and ahead of the results for the same period last year, said Wood.
The City had hoped the company had turned the corner after it showed a satisfactory first quarter but Plaxton shares tumbled 22p to 55p last Friday.
Analysts had been hoping for a bounce back into profits for the group in the year to December, following last year's loss of £6.8m.