Financial Express (Holdings) Limited (“we”, “our”, “us” and derivatives) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy, together with our Terms of Use, sets out the basis on which any personal data that we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us relating to your use of any of the below websites (“sites”).


For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is Trustnet Limited of 2nd Floor, Golden House, 30 Great Pulteney Street, London, W1F 9NN. Our nominated representative for the purpose of this Act is Kirsty Witter.


We collect information about you when you register with us or use any of our websites / services. Part of the registration process may include entering personal details & details of your investments.

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your operating system, browser version, domain name and IP address and details of the website that you came from, in order to improve this site.

You confirm that all information you supply is accurate.


In order to provide personalised services to and analyse site traffic, we may use a cookie file which is stored on your browser or the hard drive of your computer. Some of the cookies we use are essential for the sites to operate and may be used to deliver you different content, depending on the type of investor you are.

You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or part of our sites. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies as soon as you visit our sites.


We store and use information you provide as follows:

  • to present content effectively;
  • to provide you with information, products or services that you request from us or which may interest you, tailored to your specific interests, where you have consented to be contacted for such purposes;
  • to carry out our obligations arising from any contracts between you and us;
  • to enable you to participate in interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so;
  • to notify you about changes to our service;
  • to improve our content by tracking group information that describes the habits, usage, patterns and demographics of our customers.

We may also send you emails to provide information and keep you up to date with developments on our sites. It is our policy to have instructions on how to unsubscribe so that you will not receive any future e-mails. You can change your e-mail address at any time.

In order to provide support on the usage of our tools, our support team need access to all information provided in relation to the tool.

We will not disclose your name, email address or postal address or any data that could identify you to any third party without first receiving your permission.

However, you agree that we may disclose to any regulatory authority to which we are subject and to any investment exchange on which we may deal or to its related clearing house (or to investigators, inspectors or agents appointed by them), or to any person empowered to require such information by or under any legal enactment, any information they may request or require relating to you, or if relevant, any of your clients.

You agree that we may pass on information obtained under Money Laundering legislation as we consider necessary to comply with reporting requirements under such legislation.


We want to ensure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information that is inaccurate.

You have the right under data protection legislation to access information held about you. If you wish to receive a copy of any personal information we hold, please write to us at 3rd Floor, Hollywood House, Church Street East, Woking, GU21 6HJ. Any access request may be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.


The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). It may be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Such staff may be engaged in, amongst other things, the provision of support services. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary, including the use of encryption, to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our sites; any transmission is at your own risk. You will not hold us responsible for any breach of security unless we have been negligent or in wilful default.


Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail.


Our sites contain links to other websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.


If you want more information or have any questions or comments relating to our privacy policy please email [email protected] in the first instance.

 Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

Johnston Group PLC (JHT)

  Print      Mail a friend

Wednesday 28 March, 2001

Johnston Group PLC

Preliminary Results

Johnston Group PLC
28 March 2001

Preliminary Results

for the year ended 31st December 2000

                                                                 28 March 2001

*        Profit before tax amounted to £9.2 million (including the profit on
         the sale of the Group's minority interest in Hobas Pipe USA Inc.), an  
         increase of 45%.

*        Group operating profits, on continuing operations, increased by 10.9%, 
         to £6.6 million.

*        Group turnover, on continuing operations before acquisitions, was      
         £139.1 million, an increase of 8.9%.

*        Earnings per ordinary share were up 82.1% to 54.55p.

*        Total dividend 13.75p per ordinary share (1999: 13.25p) an increase of 

*        Strong balance sheet with gearing of 3.1%.

*        Net assets per ordinary share 452p (1999: 409p).

'With the acquisition of Madvac and with the continuing investment in new
product developments and in distribution, the Group is making strides towards
securing its global leadership in sweeper manufacturing.  We continue to
examine acquisition opportunities for this and for our other business areas.
In this regard, our strong balance sheet with gearing at just over three per
cent. gives us considerable freedom of action.

Looking ahead, we expect market conditions to remain very competitive in all
our sectors.  The Group is well placed with strong market positions and good
prospects for many of the businesses, however, the current economic climate
makes a note of caution appropriate.'

                                                                 Roger Holland

For further information:

Marcus Jordan, Group Managing Director        Lulu Bridges/ Peter Willetts
Johnston Group PLC                            Tavistock Communications
Tel:  01737 242 466                           Tel:  020 7600 2288

Chairman's Statement


The Group benefited from a very strong first half performance but, as I
predicted in the interim statement in September, orders weakened later in the
year, resulting in a much reduced profit for the second half.  For the year as
a whole, the Group achieved profits before taxation of £9.2 million.  This
included substantial gains on the disposal of our minority interest in Hobas
Pipe USA.

Excluding these gains, the underlying profit was £6.2 million.  At first
glance, this appears to be a more or less identical result to that for 1999,
however, the figure is the result of some counteracting factors.  While the
Group has lost the considerable profit contribution that came from Hobas Pipe
USA in 1999 - there had been no dividend receipts and no immediate prospects
of any - the loss has been offset by the consequential reduction in interest
charges and, more importantly, by a gratifying improvement in the core
businesses.  Reflecting this improving performance, the Board is recommending
an increased final dividend of 8.50p per ordinary share making a total
dividend for the year of 13.75p per ordinary share.

Looking at the Group activities in more detail, the engineering division
reported a much better result with improved performances in Europe and the
USA.  Johnston Engineering increased its profits for the third year in
succession despite the exchange rate difficulties faced by UK-based
manufacturers.  In the USA, Johnston Sweeper Company continued its improvement
programme.  It further reduced its losses while gaining market share.  In
Australia, MacDonald Johnston Engineering had a poor start, but finished the
year strongly.  Madvac, the Canadian manufacturer of walk-behind sweepers and
litter collection vehicles, which was acquired in June, made its first welcome
contribution to Group profits.  With strengthened senior management, the
fortunes of Saxon Sanbec are slowly improving.

The engineering companies were reorganised during the year into two
operational groupings - Sweepers and Specialist Vehicles.  This will enable us
to focus more effectively on individual market needs while capturing the
increasing opportunities for global synergies.

The construction materials division did not achieve the profit levels of 1999.
The quarrying companies reported results fractionally below last year's.
This, nevertheless, was a creditable achievement against a background of
relentless competition and increased costs for bitumen and power.  The
concrete division was unable to sustain the exceptional performance of 1999 in
the face of severe price pressures in the market and the very wet weather
conditions in the Autumn.  The GRP business continued to make progress, but
without quite achieving full expectations.

Financial Review

Group turnover at £141.4 million was a 10.8% increase over 1999.  Excluding
acquisitions, the underlying increase was 8.9% and was spread across both
divisions.  Profit before taxation was £9.2 million, an increase of 45% over
1999.  The profit included £3.0 million of disposal and exchange gains arising
from the sale of our minority interest in Hobas Pipe USA.  Group operating
profit, which reflects the performance of the Group's continuing operations,
increased by 10.9% to £6.6 million.  This improvement arose in the engineering
activities, in particular Johnston Sweeper Company.

The balance sheet includes £3.0 million of intangible assets being goodwill
arising on the acquisition of Madvac.  Tangible fixed asset property carrying
values have now been retained at their previous revalued amounts in accordance
with the transitional provisions of FRS 15.  The Group medium term bank loan
of £6.9 million was reclassified to creditors due within one year reflecting
its shortening expiry period.  The loan facility has been renegotiated since
the year end and now has a five year term.  Shareholders' funds have increased
to £50.0 million with an asset value per ordinary share of 452p.

Cash flow from operating activities amounted to £8.5 million.  This is below
the previous year and reflects the increase in working capital arising from
higher levels of activity in the engineering division, which now includes
Madvac.  Capital expenditure at £2.5 million was below depreciation.  The
largest capital expenditure project was the replacement of the primary crusher
at Leaton Quarry.  Disposal proceeds amounted to £6.1 million from the sale of
Hobas Pipe USA and expenditure on the acquisition of Madvac was £3.5 million.
The resulting net cash inflow of £2.6 million contributed to the overall cash
inflow before financing of £4.1 million.  Net debt fell to £1.5 million with
minimal gearing of 3.1%.

The overall tax rate was 25.2%.  This is below the standard UK rate of 30% due
to the low tax rate on the Hobas Pipe USA disposal gain.  Basic earnings per
ordinary share were 54.6p.

An interim dividend of 5.25p per ordinary share was paid in December 2000 and
the Board is recommending a final dividend of 8.50p per ordinary share, giving
an increased total for the year of 13.75p.

Operating Review


Sweeper Division

The sweeper division is a world leader in the supply of vehicles and equipment
for outdoor surface cleansing and embraces the activities of Johnston
Engineering Limited, Johnston Sweeper Company (USA) and Madvac Inc. (Canada).

The division has modern manufacturing facilities on three continents producing
sweepers for streets and pedestrian areas, airports, large industrial sites
and sport and entertainment complexes.  Customers range from city and local
authorities to cleansing contractors, airports and defence establishments.

Johnston Engineering Limited

Manufacturer of road sweepers and municipal vehicles.

Johnston Engineering did well to increase profits over 1999 in the face of
severe pricing pressures and the continued strength of sterling.  The
improvement of manufacturing efficiencies continued to be a management
priority.  UK and export sales of truck mounted sweepers held steady and
production of compact sweepers reached record levels with multiple sales of
the new compact series for major cities in the UK and Germany.  Johnston
Engineering continues to strengthen its position in the UK and European
sweeper markets which are expected to maintain modest growth.

Johnston Beam, the Danish branch of Johnston Engineering, builds large chassis
mounted special purpose sweepers and is the main distribution centre for
Scandinavia.  Sales and profits declined slightly during 2000 after the record
results of the previous year, but the order book is strong and a better year
is anticipated in 2001.  Pfau-Johnston, the German operation, substantially
increased its market share, particularly with compact sweepers, but a very
competitive local market, coupled with the strong pound, contributed to a

Johnston Sweeper Company

Manufacturer of road sweepers.

The company achieved increased sales and revenues in comparison with recent
years, and now has a greatly strengthened position in the US market.  A small
loss arose, but the recovery programme is still on track.  A substantial order
from the Californian State Transit Authority for mechanical sweepers underpins
the order book for the start of 2001 and a new air regenerative sweeper will
be introduced in the second quarter of 2001.

Madvac Inc.

Manufacturer of pedestrian sweepers and litter collection vehicles.

The company's products completes the division's range of sweeper equipment and
since joining the Group in June 2000, Madvac's trading results have met
expectations.  Prospects for substantial growth in sales and profits are
excellent as the company will benefit from Johnston's worldwide distribution

Special vehicles division

The special vehicles division has been formed to embrace the activities of
MacDonald Johnston Engineering Co. Pty. Limited (Australia) and Saxon Sanbec

MacDonald Johnston Engineering Co. Pty. Limited

Manufacturer of refuse vehicles, road sweepers, air hand-dryers and other
refuse equipment.

Trading overall for the year was disappointing, but the company had a strong
second half.  The introduction of a sales tax delayed buying decisions by
councils and contractors which hit orders in the first half for sweepers and
refuse trucks.

A much improved result is expected in 2001 with the air regenerative machine
launched in March making an impact on a very competitive sweeper market.  The
refuse collection and recycling market is expected to grow as major contracts
become due for renewal.  The company's new range of smaller rear loading
refuse collection vehicles is expected to make its mark.

The washroom products division enjoyed an exceptional year in 2000 and, with
new products released during the year, is expected to consolidate its market

Saxon Sanbec Limited

Manufacturer of firefighting and rescue vehicles.

The company made significant progress during 2000, improving operational
efficiency and deliveries.  A much reduced loss was reported and the business
generally is on target to restore profitability.

The firefighting and rescue vehicle market is undergoing change with the
introduction of the first major private finance initiative which, with an
anticipated increase in the market size, will present new challenges for

As part of the newly formed special vehicles division, the management is
bringing greater focus on the development of longer term strategic plans for
Saxon Sanbec.

Construction Materials

Johnston Pipes Limited

Manufacturer of concrete building products and glass reinforced plastic pipes

The company reported a reasonable profit for the year, but fell short of the
fine result of 1999.

Overall volumes of manholes, concrete pipes, cover slabs and gullies were
maintained at satisfactory levels throughout the year, but, with many
construction sites being brought to a standstill in the Autumn by the
countrywide floods, some orders and projects were deferred until the New Year.
A reduction in the overall market, coupled with an increase in
manufacturers' stocks, led to prices declining from mid-year.

The company continued its commitment to improve manufacturing efficiencies and
product quality.  All concrete pipes are water tested during the production
process to eliminate the risk of leakage, a measure that exceeds BSI
requirements.  The integral pipe joint, G-flex, was introduced to cover all
pipe diameters during March 2001, a feature which assists assembly and
installation and offers a more secure pipe.

Major projects supplied during the year include Telford United Football Club's
redevelopment scheme and the Costain Skanska Mowlem A2/M2 widening scheme near
Chatham, Kent.  Johnston Pipes' ability to offer a full range of concrete
products ensures that the company will be well placed to bid for schemes,
large and small, expected to be released for tender during 2001.

The GRP pipe division ended the year on a disappointing note.  The year had
begun with a healthy order book underwritten by the PFI pipeline and sewage
treatment plant scheme at Tayside, Scotland.  During April, Ofwat, the water
company regulator for England and Wales, rescheduled a number of projects
incorporating GRP pipes and the division's profits suffered accordingly.

Stormfox, the company's combined sewer overflow unit (CSO), was launched at
the end of January 2001.  Stormfox has been developed to meet the Environment
Agency ruling which requires water authorities to reduce the size of particles
being discharged into rivers.  Water companies have shown much interest in
this product.

Johnston Roadstone Limited

Coated and dry stone quarry operator.

Johnston Roadstone did well to maintain profits at levels similar to those of
previous years, despite an extremely difficult market resulting primarily from
the continued lack of investment in maintenance and road construction
programmes by the Government and the Local Authorities.  The situation was
further exacerbated by a series of large increases in the price of fuel oil
and bitumen products.

Leaton Quarry was well placed geographically to secure the contract for the
reconstruction and resurfacing of the M54 between junctions 6 and 7.  During
the two month contract period the quarry supplied over 40,000 tonnes of coated
materials enabling the main contractor to complete the work on schedule.

The primary crushing plant at Leaton Quarry, dating from 1964, was dismantled
in November and a new plant commissioned during February 2001.  This offers
greatly increased efficiency and surpasses health, safety and environmental

A core drilling programme is in hand at both Leaton and Leinthall quarries and
discussions continue with the planning authorities for consent to access stone
reserves in order to extend the lives of both quarries.

The outlook for 2001 is encouraging with indications that Local Authorities
now have higher maintenance and road improvement budgets than for many years.
This increased activity will reduce to an extent the excessive competition
amongst suppliers and provide all with the prospect of better margins.


With the acquisition of Madvac and with the continuing investment in new
product developments and in distribution, the Group is making strides towards
securing its global leadership in sweeper manufacturing.  We continue to
examine acquisition opportunities for this and for our other business areas.
In this regard, our strong balance sheet with gearing at just over three per
cent. gives us considerable freedom of action.

Looking ahead, we expect market conditions to remain very competitive in all
our sectors.  The Group is well placed with strong market positions and good
prospects for many of the businesses, however, the current economic climate
makes a note of caution appropriate.

                                                                 Roger Holland
                                                                 28 March 2001



For the year ended 31st December 2000

                                                               2000       1999
                                                               £000       £000

Continuing operations                                      139,052    127,668
Acquisitions                                                 2,363          -
                                                         ----------- -----------

                                                           141,415    127,668
Operating costs less other income                          134,852    121,748
                                                         ----------- -----------

Group operating profit                                       6,563      5,920

                                                         ----------- -----------
Operating profit
Continuing operations - Group                                6,555      5,920
                      - acquisitions                             8          -
                                                         ----------- -----------
Group operating profit                                       6,563      5,920

Discontinued operations - share of associate's operating        65      1,154
                                                         ----------- -----------
                                                             6,628      7,074
Profit on disposal of discontinued operations -              2,448          -
                                                         ----------- -----------
Profit before interest                                       9,076      7,074

Interest receivable                                            395        143
Exchange gain arising on disposal proceeds                     507          -
Interest payable and similar charges                          (824)      (915)
Net interest and similar items                                  78       (772)
                                                         ----------- -----------
Profit on ordinary activities before taxation                9,154      6,302

Taxation                                                     2,304      2,135
                                                         ----------- -----------
Profit on ordinary activities after taxation                 6,850      4,167
Minority equity interest                                       862        847
                                                         ----------- -----------
Profit attributable to shareholders                          5,988      3,320

Dividends (ordinary and preference)                          1,589      1,525
                                                         ----------- -----------
Retained profit for the year                                 4,399      1,795

                                                             ======     ======
Earnings per ordinary share

Basic                                                        54.55p     29.95p
Diluted                                                      54.52p     29.91p
                                                             ======     ======



At 31st December 2000

                                                            2000          1999

                                                            £000          £000

Fixed assets

Intangible assets                                          2,974             -
Tangible assets                                           30,915        31,451
Investments                                                    -         2,960
                                                        --------      --------
                                                          33,889        34,411
                                                        --------      --------
Current assets

Stocks                                                    24,773        23,649
Debtors                                                   24,018        20,987
Cash at bank and in hand                                   9,043         6,091
                                                        --------      --------
                                                          57,834        50,727
                                                        --------      --------
Creditors due within one year                             36,528        26,475
                                                        --------      --------
Net current assets                                        21,306        24,252
                                                        --------      --------
Total assets less current liabilities                     55,195        58,663

Creditors due after one year                               1,200         9,585
Provisions for liabilities and charges                     2,480         2,772

                                                        --------      --------
                                                          51,515        46,306
                                                           =====         =====
Capital and reserves

Called-up share capital                                    2,083         2,075
Share premium account                                      1,345         1,143
Revaluation reserve                                        7,449         7,695
Profit and loss account                                   39,087        34,117
                                                        --------      --------
Shareholders' funds                                       49,964        45,030

Equity interests                                          48,964        44,030
Non-equity interests                                       1,000         1,000

Minority equity interest                                   1,551         1,276

                                                        --------      --------
                                                          51,515        46,306
                                                           =====         =====



For the year ended 31st December 2000

                                                      2000             1999
                                             £000     £000     £000    £000

Cash flow from operating activities                 8,525            10,439

Returns on investment and servicing of             (1,010)           (1,545)

Taxation                                           (2,112)           (1,461)

Capital expenditure                                (2,472)           (2,719)

Acquisition                                        (3,535)                -

Disposal                                            6,143                 -

Equity dividends paid                              (1,456)           (1,398)

                                                  --------           -------

Cash inflow before financing                        4,083             3,316

Financing - issue of shares                  210                12

          - decrease in debt              (1,620)             (320)

                                         --------           --------

                                                   (1,410)             (308)

                                                  --------           --------

Increase in cash in the period                      2,673             3,008

                                                    ======            ======

Notes to Preliminary Results

1.      Divisional analysis of results of continuing operations
        by activity

                                    Turnover                   Operating
                                    2000           1999        2000        1999
                                    £000           £000        £000        £000

Engineering                      106,411         96,063      2,766       1,840
Construction Materials            35,004         31,605      4,560       5,171
                              ----------     ----------  ----------  ----------
                                 141,415        127,668      7,326       7,011
Central                                -              -       (763)     (1,091)
                              ----------     ----------  ----------  ----------
                                 141,415        127,668       6,563       5,920
                                  ======         ======      ======      ======

2.      The Board is recommending a final dividend of 8.50p per ordinary share
        (1999:  8.25p) payable on 6th July 2001 to shareholders on the register 
        as at 8th June 2001, which, with the interim dividend of 5.25p (1999:   
        5.0p) makes 13.75p for the year (1999:  13.25p).

3.      The calculation of the earnings per share is based on Group profit for
        the year attributable to ordinary shareholders of £5,888,000 (1999:  
        £3,220,000), divided by the weighted average number of ordinary shares  
        in issue.  The weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue was  
        10,789,982 (1999:  10,751,772).  Diluted earnings per share reflecting  
        outstanding share options is based on 10,796,002 (1999:  10,764,705)    
        ordinary shares, using an average share price for the year of 418p      
        (1999:  335p).

4.      Copies of the full accounts for the year ended 31st December 2000 will
        be posted to shareholders on 26th April 2001.  The Annual General       
        Meeting will be held on Friday 25th May 2001.

5.      The financial information set out above does not constitute the
        company's statutory accounts for the years ended 31 December 2000 or    
        1999.  The financial information for 1999 is derived from the statutory 
        accounts for 1999 which have been delivered to the Registrar of         
        Companies.  The auditors have reported on the 1999 accounts; their      
        report was unqualified and did not contain a statement under section    
        237(2) or (3) of the Companies Act 1985.  The statutory accounts for    
        2000 will be finalised on the basis of the financial information        
        presented by the directors in this Preliminary Announcement and will be 
        delivered to the Registrar of Companies following the company's Annual  
        General Meeting.


a d v e r t i s e m e n t