Driver Group says that, that, as expected, it returned to profit during the second half and anticipated that turnover in the period will be roughly 7% ahead of that recorded at the interim stage. It says considerable progress has been made in reducing the cost base across the group, driving efficiencies and improving job profitability and the detailed review of the Group's operations which commenced following Gordon Wilkinson's appointment as CEO in March is ongoing. Revenue and operating profit in Europe & Americas are above expectations and at record levels for the period, whilst revenues in AMEA are broadly in line with expectations and again at record levels. Despite this significant improvement in operating performance, operating profits in the AMEA region have been well behind internal forecasts and, after a further review of the Group's debtor book, the board has determined to increase the provision against outstanding debts in the AMEA region by a further £520,000. Based on the latest management information and including the impact of the increased debtor provision, the Board now expects that the Group will record a modest operating loss before exceptional items for the financial year as a whole. Net debt at the financial year end is expected to be in the region of £9.0m, in line with market forecasts and comfortably within the group's available facilities. Further steps are still required to bolster and improve the sustainable profitability of the Group. Nonetheless, the board is confident of delivering further progress in the 2017 financial year.
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