23 April 1998
Powerscreen subsidiary found to be selling new machines at auctions

POWERSCREEN subsidiary Benford, which makes vehicles for the construction industry, has been selling new machines in auctions at prices which suggest the company is selling unprofitably, reports the Financial Times.

Advisers to Powerscreen say the sales were simply normal stock clearances. But others claim the auction sales may be an attempt to raise cash in the wake of the financial problems at Matbro, which are expected to have pushed Powerscreen into losses of about £10 million for the year to March 31.

Powerscreens finances are being reviewed by auditors KPMG – who are expected to hand down a report later this month after Price Waterhouse has reviewed the findings.

Powerscreen has partly blamed its Matbro subsidiary for its £46.7m of unexpected losses announced in January. It said mispricing of machines by Matbro, which makes specialist tractors, caused some of the losses.

  • Financial Times 23/04/98 page 29