James Fisher issues profit warning as bad debt situation worsens

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James Fisher & Sons PLC (LSE:FSJ) shares were all at sea after a profit warning.


The marine services provider said it now anticipates underlying operating profit for the full year will be between GBP27mln – GBP32mln, excluding various exceptional items.


The group said a recent deterioration in the condition of a financially distressed customer has increased bad debt risk by around GBP2mln while its JFD division said that negotiations over GBP2mln it is due from a customer have reached a deadlock and it no longer expects to receive payment this year.


In response to the latest short-term trading outlook, management is performing a detailed review of the group’s cost base and balance sheet. Aligned with the board’s commitment to ‘fix or exit’ non-core and underperforming businesses, the group said it is continuing to advance at pace the divestment of non-core businesses and assets aimed at generating significant proceeds over the next year, to reduce net debt and financial leverage as well as to simplify the business.


Meanwhile, the company continues to trade within its banking covenants.


Shares in James Fisher sank 30% to 550p.


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