AA share price rises as financing costs put the brakes on profit

Emma Haslett
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Today's half-year figures pushed shares in the AA up.

AA reported its first set of half-yearly results since its initial public offering (IPO) in June, and although profits fell, investors were clearly encouraged by its performance, pushing shares up just over one per cent in early trading.

The company said revenues rose 1.6 per cent to £491.7m in the six months to the end of July. Profits, on the other hand, fell to £10.2m, from £121.2m the year before - although AA said that was down to £138.6m of financing costs, plus £39.4m exceptional costs, "the full impact of increased financing costs resulting from the refinancing put in place by the previous owners".

It is good news for the company, which had a rocky ride on its first day of trading, when shares fell 2.4 per cent. At the end of August, chief executive Chris Jansen and chief financial officer Andy Boland stepped down.

This morning executive chairman Bob Mackenzie said "progress has been made on all fronts".

The new executive team has focused on getting to know the business in detail, assessing the business operations and infrastructure and developing the strategy for future long term growth... but there is more to be done.
In terms of the future, our task is to better capitalise on the strength of the AA brand; make the right investments to enhance our service to members and customers, and reduce the leverage of the business.

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