1st Dental moves into profit

DENTAL products firm 1st Dental moved into the black today after announcing a modest profit due to its turnaround strategy

The Harrogate-based firm, which supplies dentists with bridges and crowns, is trying to rebuild after two years of poor performance following its acquisition of Benchmark in 2005.

The acquisition, coupled with government-imposed changes to the dental sector and the loss of key management, has seen it report two years of declining sales and losses.

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It had to take a 3.25m goodwill impairment last year on laboratories associated with Benchmark, driving it to a 4.1m loss in the year to the end of November.

In an interim statement for the six months ended May 31 2010, the firm announced a pre-tax profit of 10,000 compared to a loss of 326,000 the previous year.

Chairman Grahame Sewell said: "I am extremely pleased to report that 1st Dental's turnaround strategy has resulted in a modest profit.

"The board has continued to develop efficiencies within the group and improve the gross margins. This has resulted in an encouraging first half of the year despite a slight decline in revenue.

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"The group traditionally expects to see higher revenues in the second half of the year and 1st Dental is driving to increase its profile and brand in the dental marketplace. The board therefore remains cautiously confident for the full year."

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