Hargreaves loses £60m on Maltby

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Hargreaves Services’ closure of Maltby Colliery, in Rotherham, and fraud at the company’s Belgium subsidiary resulted in a loss of £81.8 million for the company’s discontinued operations in the year to the end of May.

The leading energy support services provider’s continuing activities managed to record a pre tax profit of £43.1 million, compared with £45.0 million in 2013, on revenue up by 36.5 per cent at £843.3 million.

Operating losses and closure costs at Maltby cost the company £59.8 million net of tax. Meanwhile, Hargreaves has received £5.5 million from Alkane Energy for selling the rights to extract methane from the closed colliery’s underground workings and is set to receive a further £2 million after the mineshafts at Maltby have been filled and capped.

Hargreaves says the closure and restoration programme is on track to be completed in the current financial year and the process of selling equipment is continuing, although the market for mining equipment remains subdued.

The company is continuing to process surface coal “fines” - small particles of coal washed off in coal preparation plants. Hargraves says around a million tonnes of fines could be recovered.

Meanwhile, the company says it is planning to vigorously defend itself from a threatened claim by Network Rail following the landslip in February, which closed the rail link at Hatfield Colliery for five months, causing lengthy diversions for passengers.

It says the basis for any claim is unclear as it has yet to be issued, so it is not currently making any provision for a claim or costs.

Hargreaves is recommending a final dividend of 13.6p, an increase of 15.3 per cent on 2012.