Trailer maker Schmitz Cargobull laments results
THE UK division of manufacturer Schmitz Cargobull has described its performance for the year up to March as "disappointing".
The German firm announced in June that it was mothballing its truck trailer factory in Harelaw, County Durham, with the loss of 66 production jobs.
A total of 68 sales, marketing and administration staff remain in Stanley and other centres across the UK, but British customers are now being supplied from plants on the Continent. The business’s service, engineering, spare parts and used trailer operations are still in the UK.
Before the mothballing, the company had already cut 175 North East jobs in the last two years, but made the decision to shut the plant after a company-wide review of production facilities.
Schmitz Cargobull (UK) said its turnover dropped from £64.8m to £35.9m in the year to March and its operating profit went from a £5.3m profit to a £6.9m loss. Pre-tax profit was £5m in 2009, but fell to an £8.6m loss by the end of the period.
In July 2009, two subsidiaries were placed into member’s voluntary liquidation. Schmitz Cargobull Curtainsiders (UK) and A1 Schmitz Cargobull were formally liquidated on October 12 last year. On March 31, parent company Schmitz Cargobull AG decided the UK company would not have to pay off a “specified portion” of intercompany loans totalling £2.7m.
The company has also been hit with an impairment charge following the mothballing of its Harelaw site.
It said: “The site will continue to operate as a sales and after-market location, as well as a head office.
“As a result of the production being mothballed, an impairment charge of £2,532,000 has been recognised against the carrying value of the site. The future impact of this event on the financial statements cannot be reliably estimated.”
The company said parent undertaking Schmitz Cargobull AB “has indicated its willingness to continue to support the operations of the company for the foreseeable future”.