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Northgate hit by £195m loss

Date: 14 July 2009   |   Author: Tom Webster

Van rental giant Northgate has reported a pre-tax loss of £195.6m for the year ending April 2009.

The loss has been attributed to a lowering in demand for vehicle rental and the fall in used vehicle values. The group, which operates in both the UK and Spain, lost £180.9m thanks to the reduction in value of its vehicles and other assets.

Northgate has taken several steps to deal with its losses, including increasing its average vehicle age from 17 to 22 months. It has also cut its depots from 86 to 80 and cut staff numbers by 193.

Northgate chief executive, Steve Smith, has agreed to stay on in his role until June 2010, having previously planned to step down on 1 August this year.

The plan the company has in place assumes that there will be "no improvement in the economic climate in the year to 30 April 2010 and only modest economic growth thereafter". It therefore aims to focus on efficient fleet management for the near future.