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UK: Hargreaves Services Set to End Coal Mining Operations in July



By Jamie Ashcroft

June 2, 2020 - Hargreaves Services Plc (LON:HSP) has told investors it will cease all coal mining operations by July 2020.

The services company had described itself as one of the largest remaining developers and operators of surface mines in the UK.

It said the decision will trigger some £3.7mln of exceptional costs, for the year ended May 31, 2020, due to staff liabilities of £1mln and an accelerated asset depreciation of £2.7mln.

The Durham headquartered industrial and property services firm is presently one of the largest remaining surface coal miners in the UK, with operations mainly in Scotland, albeit most sites were disused by prior operators.

In a statement on Tuesday, ahead of its financial results, the company meanwhile noted that it has not experienced any impact from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic other that in its property business, where work on a residential development site near Edinburgh has been suspended. Also some small, non-core, property assets in Scotland were due to complete in May but are delayed.

It therefore expects to report underlying results in line with the market expectations, albeit it noted that its formal guidance was withdrawn in late March.

Hargreaves plans to release its financial results on July 29.

The company noted that talks are continuing to refinance a £50mln borrowing facility which is otherwise due to expire on August 31 and it said it is confident that appropriate facilities will be secured.

At May 31, the company had net debt of £27.3mln, including £13.7m of leasing debt.