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£7.6M write-off for Lighthouse Group

Lighthouse Group has had to write down £7.6m, with £5.6m directly related to its £12.6m merger with Sumus in May last year.

The remaining £2m relates to the acquisition of Carrwood Barker Holdings which Lighthouse bought in December 2005.

Lighthouse group finance director Peter Smith says the £7.6m impairment charge reflects the loss of capital of the acquired businesses at year-end valuations.

He says: “It is inevitable in this climate that there has been a fairly sharp markdown because the view of the business, particularly over the next couple of years, will have reduced compared with where we were six to nine months ago.”

The group reported a loss of £8.5m for 2008 after a profit of £1.9m in 2007. The loss was mainly due to the writedown on its acquisitions.

Smith says: “The 2008 figures were hit by a one-off impairment charge which has no effect on cash or trading levels.”

The group reported a rise in revenues of £1.5m to £54.4m as a result of its mer-ger with Sumus which brought £15.3m to the group between May and December. But a like-for-like comparison with figures for 2007, excluding Sumus, shows a £13.8m or 26 per cent drop in revenues.

Lighthouse chairman David Hickey says: “We have £12m of cash, no bank debt and we are still making trading profits. The group is well positioned for challenges that the industry will face and to capitalise on the upturn when it occurs.”

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