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Hargreaves upbeat despite challenges
COUNTY Durham mining and industrial services company Hargreaves has reported a rise in revenues despite lower commodity prices and problems in the UK and Belgium.
The Esh Winning-based firm's turnover increased by £62.3m from £322.8m to £385.1m in the six months to the end of November. The company made an underlying pre-tax profit of £22.7m compared to £20.8m a year earlier.
Hargreaves said the revenue rise was mainly due to continuing strong power station volumes and the impact of increased coking coal sourcing in its energy and commodities division.
But the business also faced a post tax exceptional charge of £17.7m after the discovery of a fraud in its Belgian subsidiary.
And after underground geological problems in the first half, Hargreaves announced plans in December to mothball its only deep mine, Maltby Colliery.
Chairman Tim Ross said: "This has been a challenging period for the Group. Although Maltby and Belgium have had a significant impact on reported results, the underlying performance of the business in the first half was good and the prospects for the second half are also encouraging."