Shanks Witness Sharp Fall in Profits

Shanks Witness Sharp Fall in ProfitsShanks, Britain's biggest independent waste business has announced a steep squeeze in its profits attributing recession, cold weather and higher taxes on Belgian landfill as the main culprits.

Its pre-tax profits marked a slip 24 per cent touching £33.2 million in the year to March 31. However, Shanks posted that there were signs in March and April that waste levels were initiating to rise.

The group's shares registered a slip by 2½p to 92p, as analysts claimed that the results surpassed expectations.

Shanks welcomed Carlyle and, in a departure from usual practice in the face of a bid, posted that it would sell only for 150p a share.

In the event, Carlyle reportedly offered 120p in March following a profit warning in February, valuing the Company at £476.4 million.

Chief Executive, Tom Drury claimed that the group was hoping to witness a boost from plans by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition to spend millions converting waste into energy using anaerobic digestion.

"Consolidation has been a feature of this industry historically, but we are focusing on the recovery and growth of this business and won't sell it short," he added.

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