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Acertec beats the MG Rover effect.

Acertec, the Solihull-based steel products group that takes in Stadco, the country's biggest producer of car body panels, saw revenues grow in the first half of the year despite losing MG Rover as a customer.

Revenues rose by four per cent to pounds 158.6 million in the six months to June 30 despite the loss of nearly pounds 10 million-worth of sales to MG Rover booked in the same period last year.

The company, which raised pounds 57 million when it floated on the Alternative Investment Market in May, yesterday reported an interim operating profit of pounds 7.9 million, four per cent up on last time.

At the pretax level, however, a pounds 5.8 million loss on the disposal of Carrington Wire, part of Acertec's BRC concrete steel reinforcements business, and flotation costs yielded a loss of pounds 3.9 million compared with a pounds 4.5 million profit last time.

Acertec, a group that traces its history back to 1812 and which was previously known as Hall Engineering Holdings, largely bought itself out from private equity house Candover when it floated in May.

Candover retains about 21 per cent of the business, which is valued at some pounds 80 million.

The crash of MG Rover in April 2005 prompted a restructuring of Stadco, which is the country's biggest manufacturers of body-in-white pressings and car body sub-assemblies.

Its customers, served from factories at Castle Bromwich in Birmingham, Coventry, Powys in Wales, Shrewsbury, Tipton in the Black Country and Saarlouis in Germany, include Ford, BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar and Mini.

In April, Stadco sold its 80.1 per cent stake in the SBP joint-venture pressings operation at the LDV vans factory in Washwood Heath, Birmingham - a disposal that had a "negligible financial impact" according to yesterday's financial statement.

Stadco's revenues from continuing businesses were strong in the first half, rising by 12 per cent to pounds 77.4 million after adjusting for the loss of the MG Rover contract.

BRC, which has an operation in Saltley, Birmingham, is benefiting from a strong construction market in the UK, Ireland and Singapore.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 2, 2006
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