The utilities division of Allen Group is unlikely to be sold until the summer, despite expressions of interest from up to 12 potential buyers.
The group is keen to offload the Ryan utilities arm as part of a strategy of repositioning itself as a hire company, but finance director Neil O'Brien admitted that a sale was still a long way off.

He said the group was still finalising the sale of its contracting arm to YJL, which cost Allen £5.6m.

He said: "It will be several months before an announcement will be made about Ryan. It will be some time in the summer." O'Brien refused to say if any interest had been shown in the division.

Analysts insist that Ryan has problems with a number of contracts and this is holding up the sale. Allen has rejected these claims.