Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Henry Bath & Son, the 220-year-old metals warehousing firm, narrowed its annual loss and said it expects to trade profitably this year.

The after-tax loss was $860,000 in 2015 compared to a loss of $6.5 million the year before, the Liverpool, England-based firm said in a regulatory filing on Monday. Pretax profit rose to $1.2 million in 2015 versus a $5 million loss the previous year.

Warehousing firms have suffered during a commodities rout and changes to London Metal Exchange’s storage rules that have encourage transfer of materials to cheaper non-exchange locations. The company also stores soft commodities such as cocoa and coffee.

Commodity trader Mercuria Energy Group sold a 51 percent stake in Henry Bath to China Materials Storage and Transportation Development Co. in a $60 million deal that closed in January.

The warehouse operator paid a dividend to the parent company of $121 million, it said. Revenue fell 35 percent to $58.5 million.

“The company will continue to trade profitably in the coming year,” the firm said in the filing.

In April, Henry Bath set up a subsidiary in Shanghai, according to the filing.

Mercuria acquired Henry Bath as part of its $800 million deal to buy the bulk of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s physical commodity trading assets in 2014.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andy Hoffman in Geneva at ahoffman31@bloomberg.net, Agnieszka de Sousa in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at jherron9@bloomberg.net, Lynn Thomasson, Ana Monteiro

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