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Shanks strengthens financial position in Q3

Shanks has reported improvements in its cash position for its third quarter, covering October to December 2013.

According to an interim management statement, the group delivered a “strong cash performance” in the period, allowing the company to reduce net debt to £151m from £182m in September 2013.

Contributing to the positive results were factors such as an efficient management of assets and liabilities, an insurance payment related to a fire at Shanks’ Dutch subsidiary Vliko in August 2013 and timing differences in PFI construction payments.

The results also included proceedings from the sale of the company’s commercial and industrial waste division.

The business unit was acquired by Biffa for £9.5m and the transaction completed on 31 December 2013.

Shanks also said that in January 2014 it had secured some €180m (£150m) in a new revolving credit facility with seven banks. The deal will refinance an existing bank facility at lower costs.

The company singled out having received planning permission for a PFI gasification plant in Derby as a highlight for operations in the UK in the third quarter.

Peter Dilnot, Shanks group chief executive, said: “Our rigorous management of the business is delivering results in the face of market conditions that remain challenging … The Board remains confident that the Group will deliver a trading result in line with its expectations for the year ended 31 March 2014.”

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