- Haynes Publishing's first quarter revenues were 18% down on a year ago.

The group said HaynesPro revenues have continued to grow but trading in consumer products in the early months of 2014-15 has been soft.

Haynes says key consumer retailers in all its main geographical markets have re-implemented working capital management programmes leading to tighter inventory controls.

Haynes says that management is encouraged that where information is available, 'out-of-store' retail sales are tracking ahead of replenishment orders and therefore believe this to be a realignment of current inventory levels rather than a trend which could have a material longer-term impact on the business.

It says: "As a result of these tighter inventory controls, overall Group revenue ended the first quarter 18% down against the prior period. Like-for-like Group revenue, excluding sales from the Clymer and Intertec manuals, the discontinued non-automotive titles in the UK and after adjusting for the movement in exchange rates was marginally lower, down 19% against the prior year.

"Revenue from the group's North American & Australian operations, in local currency, ended the first quarter 9% down on last year but with an average exchange rate of $1.69 against $1.53 last year, after translation to Sterling, revenue was down 18%.

"In the UK & Europe revenue was down 19% as inventory tightening by key automotive customers left UK revenue 35% down against the prior period. In contrast, strong trading from the Group's professional ranges in Europe continued during the period, ending the first quarter, in local currency, 11% up against the prior period. However, with an average exchange rate of €1.26 against €1.16 last year, after translation to Sterling, European revenue ended the period up only 2%.

"Despite the lower UK sales, management are encouraged that like-for-like sales of non-automotive titles in publication for more than 12 months were 2% up on last year, supporting the action taken by management to re-focus the non-automotive titles onto the higher margin 'Haynes' style manuals.

"During the first quarter the Group's cash balances increased by £0.2m to £1.3m and, with the events highlighted above, these represent the main changes to the Group's financial position since the Group reported its results for the financial year ended 31 May 2014."

At 8:04am: [LON:HYNS] Haynes Publishing Group PLC share price was -6.5p at 182.5p

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