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Hargreaves Services Plc: Pre-Close Period Trading Update for the six months ended 30 November 2010

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Hargreaves Services plc (AIM: HSP), the UK’s leading energy support services provider, issues the following trading update for the six months ended 30 November 2010 prior to the Group entering its close period.
The Group is pleased to announce that results are expected to be in line with management expectations.
In the Production Division it is pleasing to note that underground production at Maltby has improved following the slow start to the year which was reported in our Preliminary Results statement in September. The coke markets remain strong and the Group is confident of achieving its coke price targets.
In the Energy and Commodities Division, growth and trading levels in Europe have been in line with our expectations while the UK markets remain robust and strong.
The Transport and Industrial Services Divisions, underpinned by their long term contracts, continue to trade in line with management expectations.
The Board is pleased to note that working capital and capital expenditure is in line with management expectations. As is usual at the half year, net debt will be higher than the start of the year due to the seasonal building of winter coal stocks. The contracted shipment of that stock in the second half gives the Board confidence that its year end net debt and cash generation targets will be met.
As announced at the Preliminary results in September the Board had been hopeful of receiving a planning decision in respect to Tower Colliery project before the end of the year. Barring unforeseen circumstances we now expect a decision to be made early in the New Year. The Board and project team remain optimistic of a positive decision. The revised timetable will have no material impact on our financial expectations for the overall project.
Outlook
The Board remain confident about the prospects for the Group and of achieving management expectations for the full year for both profit and cash generation.
The Group expects to announce its Interim Results on 21 February 2011.
(Ref 2176)

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