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Howard Basford reports pre-tax loss of £1.93m

Howard Basford, the accident repair group, made a loss of almost £2m last year. The firm, which last month purchased the 80 per cent stake held by Ford, reported pre-tax losses of £1,928,954 on a turnover of £16,625,857 for the year ending December 31, 2001.

This compares with a pre-tax loss of £900,236 on a turnover of £13,749,769 for the same period in 2000. Neither Ford nor Neil Kirk, Howard Basford managing director, were available for comment.

But one industry source suggests Ford may have covered the projected losses as part of its exit deal.

“Howard Basford would then have a couple of years to turn the business around,” he says. “They will have brought the company back for a nominal sum which is why Ford took all the share capital on October 10 to sell the company back on the same day.

“Long-loans could be transferred to the balance sheet under the line and shown as capital to support the balance sheet.”

Another source predicts that Howard Basford will be forced to scale back, focusing on its north-west heartland where it has six bodyshops.

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