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600 Group PLC (SIXH)

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Friday 15 August, 2008

600 Group PLC

Interim Management Statement

RNS Number : 3859B
600 Group PLC
15 August 2008
 






15 August 2008



The 600 Group PLC ('600 Group' or the 'Company')


Interim Management Statement


Further to its announcement on 7 August 2008, the Company is today publishing its Interim Management Statement in accordance with the UK Listing Authority's Disclosure and Transparency Rules. It covers the period from 30 March 2008 to 14 August 2008 (the 'Period')


Order intake activity across 600 Group has continued at a similar level to last year with the positive progress in our Continental European markets offsetting the relative softness in our UK and North America markets. Overall sales from continuing operations for the Period continued to reflect growth compared with the same period last year. 


Gross margin continued in line with the Board's expectations with cost controls being maintained. The Company continued to invest in product design and development as well as sales and marketing during the PeriodAs highlighted in its preliminary results for the year ended 29 March 2008, announced on 4 June 2008, the Company commenced a redundancy programme covering 70 employees in its UK and North American operations.  As at 14 August 2008 66 of these employees had left 600 Group at a cost of £0.7mAs anticipated, due to seasonal factors and increased activity levels, net cash balances reduced in the Period.


On 15 July 2008, the Company entered into separate agreements to sell and leaseback its two properties in Colchester and Halifax from Stirling Investment Properties LLP. The net consideration for the properties was £0.7m and £1.1m respectively with there being a profit on disposal of £0.1m on each property. The full consideration was received in cash and will be applied, subject to agreement with the Trustee, to reducing the ongoing liability of the Company to the 600 Group Pension Fund (the 'Fund'). The Company, in conjunction with the Trustee, is actively assessing its options with regards to the Fund. 


On 6 August 2008the Company announced the appointment of David Norman as Group Chief Executive and the departure of the former Group Chief Executive Andrew Dick. The Board believes that this management change will assist it in the implementation of its strategy and in the maximisation of shareholder value.


Outlook


Despite the challenging economic environment, the Company has maintained its order book levels during the Period and trading is in line with the Board's expectations.


  Enquiries:


The 600 Group PLC


Martyn Wakeman, Group Finance Director

Telephone: 0113 277 6100



Hudson Sandler


Nick Lyon

Telephone: 020 7796 4133


Notes to Editors:


The 600 Group PLC is an international group, manufacturing and marketing machine tools, machine tool accessories, lasers and other engineering products.


The Company operate from some 35 locations world-wide and sell its products around the world. Its international marketing and distribution network handles both Group products and those of other manufacturers.


Website: www. 600group.com




This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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