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Hills posts loss after costly restructure

Household goods maker Hills Holdings has posted a $94 million loss because of a costly restructure, which it says will create a business more resilient to sluggish economic conditions.


The loss by Hills in the 2012/2013 financial compares to a $26 million profit in the previous year.

The company’s restructure, which has involved the sale of several manufacturing businesses and many job losses, cost Hills $155 million in the year to June 30.

But chief executive Ted Pretty said the overhaul will pay off down the line.

“Hills is a simpler and more streamlined company than it was 12 months ago,” he said.

“We had to go out and create a far more leaner structure so we were better placed – we’ve taken our costs out.”

The revamp has now been fully accounted for and no other significant one-off costs would affect profit in the 2013/14 financial year, Mr Pretty said.

Hills is now pegging its future on technology and communications services – a departure for a brand best known for its namesake Hills Hoist clothesline.

The company currently owns several businesses that provide household security systems, television antennas and subscription services, as well as home and hardware products.

Hills has also struck a deal to sell its Orrcon and Fielders steel businesses to BlueScope.

Hills will make $80 million from the deal, which will go ahead in December if approved by the competition watchdog.

This follows the sale or closure of several other businesses, including Bailey Ladders, Solar HW, Team Poly and Korvest.

Hills shares were up 5.0 cents, or 3.5 per cent, at $1.485 at 1415 AEST.

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