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Havelock Europa – “considerably below” profit warning, a further reminder to be extremely cautious of ‘expected second half weighting’

By Steve Moore | Thursday 7 September 2017

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Having previously, in June, stated it “more than usually so… expect 2017 performance to be significantly weighted towards the second half” though also attempted to reassure that “whilst activity in the Public Sector is expected to be below last year's levels, this will be balanced by a better than expected demand from Retail and Lifestyle and Corporate Services clients”, there is now from interiors company Havelock Europa (HVE) a further “Trading Statement”. How’s that expected more so than usual second half weighting working out?...

“The directors of Havelock Europa PLC expect that results for the year ending 31 December 2017 will fall considerably below expectations”. Uh oh, but what happened to the “will be balanced by a better than expected demand from Retail and Lifestyle and Corporate Services clients”?

Instead, there’s “delays in the commencement of work for key customers and lower-than-anticipated orders from the public sector. These developments are set against the previously announced backdrop of reduced activity in the first half and costs associated with the implementation of the Enterprise Resource Planning system”.

Indeed, the June announcement also included “operating in a very competitive market” and “forecasting for the second half year remains difficult”. Together with the required second half weighting, these suggested significant uncertainty on the also-stated “believes performance for the full year will remain in line with our expectations”.

It is added “a further update will be provided as part of the interim results announcement, which is expected to be released on 27 September”, but with the 2016 results having shown an adjusted post-tax profit of just £0.26 million, a significant net cash outflow and a net current liabilities and net debt position this is currently on the bargepole list. Another reminder to be extremely cautious in boards 'believing' there will be near-term significant performance improvement!

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