£70m Record Order Book Leads to New Investment

Severfield-Rowen PLC 6 January 2000 £70 MILLION RECORD ORDER BOOK LEADS TO NEW INVESTMENT. NEGOTIATIONS ON SALE OF MANABO AT ADVANCED STAGE Severfield-Rowen Plc - the structural steelwork company - announced today that, following strong demand in December and a record current order book, a fifth production line is being built at its Dalton site in Yorkshire. Line 5, in which £3 million is being invested, is expected to commence production in April. The new line will increase the capacity at Dalton, where weekly production averaged 1,100 tonnes last year, to 1,400 tonnes per week - enhancing the site's position as the largest single production facility for structural steel in Europe. The core business of Severfield-Rowen - the design, fabrication and erection of structural steelwork products for a wide variety of construction markets, both in the UK and overseas - is showing sound progress with current order books now totalling in excess of £70 million, equivalent to over 60,000 tonnes of steel. In addition, and despite recent challenging market conditions, the downward pressure on margins is now easing. 1999 closed on a satisfactory note overall for the Group. While still too early to be precise, current indications suggest that although Manabo - the loss-making and non-core subsidiary - continued to be disappointing, returns in the core business exceeded expectations in a challenging market. The Directors also confirm that they are in advanced negotiations to sell the Manabo business - which manufactures protective steel gloves - to a buyer from the food and hygiene industry. Heads of agreement have been signed with the international purchaser, following expressions of interest from several parties. Completion, subject to due diligence, is expected on or before the Company announces its preliminary results towards the end of March. Commenting on the latest developments, Peter Levine the Group's chairman, said: 'With our record order book and the increased capacity at Dalton, the Group's inherent strength and sound future prospects are underpinned. The core business continues to perform most satisfactorily and we are looking forward to making 2000 a year of progress and growth for the Company. 'The anticipated disposal of Manabo will enable Severfield-Rowen to focus on its core competencies and markets. Manabo should as a result be better placed to develop as a part of a larger group within the relevant industry.' Enquiries: Peter Levine, Chairman, Severfield-Rowen plc 0113 2469993 or 0802 312249 Sarah Marsland/Tim Spratt, Financial Dynamics 0207 831 3113


Severfield (SFR)
UK 100

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