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Mr Hartnall's comments came as the company reported pre-tax profits, before goodwill writedowns and exceptionals, of pounds 87 million in the six months to June 30, below last year's pounds 92 million.
Overall, TD has delivered consistent earnings performance since reporting sizeable goodwill writedowns and restructuring charges in the second quarter of 2003.
These losses were triggered by large special expenses, principally goodwill writedowns, debt refinancing costs, and business restructuring.
The friendly pounds 914 million acquisition also led to the hefty goodwill writedowns, which came amid a deteriorating industry outlook.
But, after goodwill writedowns and amortisation, profits were slightly down at pounds 11.
charge of $214 million related to goodwill writedowns recorded
After exceptional items, goodwill writedowns and a pounds 16 million hit from adverse currency exchanges, the group pretax loss came in at pounds 24 million compared withpounds 69 million in the same quarter last year, a reduction of 65 per cent.
4 billion loss for 2001, also due to goodwill writedowns.
GMAC's full-year results also reflect goodwill writedowns of $695 million after-tax.
Goodwill writedowns were again high in the first six months of 2002, coming in at pounds 51 million, compared to pounds 56 million a year earlier.
Sodexho said it would miss its goal of 2001-02 net profit after goodwill writedowns of pounds 133 million.