Like every other property group in the UK, Oakgate Group is manfully trying to cope with the inescapable effects of the credit crunch and consequent decline in property values. Still, this West Yorkshire-based company still managed to record pre-tax profits of £606,200 on sales of £19.6m in 2008. Impressive, but a slide from the previous year when Oakgate notched up profits of £4.2m, and paid out a dividend of £2.64m to the three owners of the company, Appleton Estates, Weeton Estates and the Caddick Group. As a result of the crunch, investment properties were written down by over £800,000 and provisions totalling £865,000 had to be made against the carrying value of certain projects in York, Leeds and Nottingham. But CEO John Grantham and MD Richard France are maintaining a sense of humour in the face of economic gloom, their respective email nicknames being email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Like the rest of us, Granny and Froggy can only hope that the crunch doesn’t last too long. Until then, Oakgate does have a very useful buffer of more than £4.2m in cash to fall back on.
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