1st Dental hopes to return to profit this year

DENTAL supplier 1st Dental Laboratories said today it hopes to return to profit this year after plans to turnaround the company remain on course.

The Harrogate-based firm, which supplies bridges and crowns to dentists from 14 laboratories, is trying to rebuild after two years of poor performance after its acquisition of Benchmark.

In March the company, said it was committed to creating a sustainable turnaround after plunging to a 4.1m annual loss in the year to the end of November 2009.

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Chairman Grahame Sewell will tell shareholders at the annual general meeting today: "We are driving a turnaround strategy. We are managing cultural change throughout the group's trading operations. The group's key objective is to re-build shareholder trust."

In an interim management statement he said: "I am pleased to report that the turnaround remains on course and trading is in line with management's expectations and the group's annual budget."

He said 1st Dental is focusing on improving customer service and choice alongside improving productivity in the laboratory operations while maintaining tight control over costs.

He added: "The objective is to be able to report a trading profit in this financial year."

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