Geoff Spink and David Leeming of Hartest Holdings plc, speak to Stockopedia News

Wednesday, Jun 23 2010 by
Geoff Spink and David Leeming of Hartest Holdings plc speak to Stockopedia News

For nearly eight months last year, Geoff Spink was forced to balance his efforts to guide Hartest Hldgs (LON:HTH) through the aftermath of the economic downturn with the distraction of dealing with a possible takeover. This week, the chief executive of the AIM listed specialist instrumentation and medical equipment group, delivered a robust set of full year figures and predicted that the group’s sound financial footing would bring even greater achievements this year.

At its core, Hartest operates an instrumentation division, including the multi-brand Hartest Precision Instruments, which makes and supplies precision instruments used in testing, measurement, performance improvement and research. That business is grouped together with Agar Scientific, which supplies microscopy equipment, and Carnation Designs, which develops power management systems for specialist vehicles. In addition, the group operates a medical division in which its Cross Technologies business distributes healthcare and medical equipment under the brands QADOS and CrossTech.

Together, the group notched up a 7% rise in sales to £22.2m last year with pre-tax profits of £1.0m cancelling out a £0.9m loss in 2009. The figures were enough for Geoff Spink and Hartest chairman David Leeming to restore a dividend of 4p per share. That helped to send the group’s share price soaring to 91.5p this week – up from 68p at the start of June. That price increase will not have gone unnoticed by Peter Gyllenhammar, whose Bronsstadet investment group blocked last year’s protracted offer period in which privately-owned Delta Controls indicated that it would buy Hartest for 68.33p per share. Gyllenhammar, who controls a 29.95% stake in Hartest is understood to be open to the idea of takeover talks – but not at that price.

Geoff Spink and David Leeming spoke to Stockopedia News about Hartest’s performance last year and their plans for the future of the business.

You must be pleased with these results given the challenges that you faced last year? How did all that bid speculation impact on you and the business?

Geoff Spink: We are very pleased with the results, particularly that the performance was there given everything that went on. The bid speculation was very wearing and, in terms of the business itself, it did set up a sort of paralysis because there was a level of uncertainty. Something I worked very hard to do was to try and separate the trading company…

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As per our Terms of Use, Stockopedia is a financial news & data site, discussion forum and content aggregator. Our site should be used for educational & informational purposes only. We do not provide investment advice, recommendations or views as to whether an investment or strategy is suited to the investment needs of a specific individual. You should make your own decisions and seek independent professional advice before doing so. Remember: Shares can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a guide to future performance & investors may not get back the amount invested. ?>

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About Ben Hobson

Ben Hobson

Stockopedia writer, editor, researcher and interviewer!


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