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Airea PLC   -  AIEA   

Final results for the year ended 31 December 2019

Released 07:00 05-Mar-2020

RNS Number : 0570F
Airea PLC
05 March 2020
 

Airea plc

Final results for the year ended 31st December 2019

Strategic Report

Airea plc is pleased with the progress the group has made whilst navigating an unpredictable and volatile market environment. During a turbulent political and economic year the group implemented significant operational and supply chain improvements specifically designed to mitigate the impact of any further uncertainty caused by Brexit trade negotiations and better prepare the group for growth opportunities.

Highlights for the year

−          Increased year end cash balance to £3.0m

−          Reduction in inventory of £1.3m to £5.5m

−          Eradication of costly third party warehousing

−          Revenues broadly flat; however, the board believes performance ahead of the market

−          Underlying profit margins increased year on year

−          Pension deficit reduction of £2.2m to £1.5m

 

Principal activity and strategy

The group remains focused on the design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of floor coverings. Our approach to strategy is uncomplicated; to develop products that sell, exploit the strength of our combined manufacturing and distribution operation and deliver robust cash flows to support the ongoing investment in the business and a progressive dividend policy.

Overview

The group has made good operational and strategic progress during the 12 months ended 31st December 2019 whilst faced with tough market conditions in light of the uncertainty stemming from Brexit and the political landscape. This led the group to prioritise cash and strong working capital management to provide the best defence against the uncertainty faced whilst continuing to develop opportunities for growth.

The board and management estimate that the UK market for carpet tiles declined by circa 10% largely due to the economic and political uncertainty referred to above. As a result revenues were broadly flat year on year (International revenue matching the prior year record performance) whilst operating profit was lower as a consequence of inventory reduction, adverse currency movement and investment in sales and design headcount. The expansion of warehousing facilities on the Ossett site during the second half of the year, following the closure of Ryalux operations and the space created through the inventory reduction programme, eliminated the requirement for third party offsite storage which was a significant cost to the group.

The group continued with the planned product line revamp during H1 2019 with the attendant temporary increase in stock this entails and had to invest in further inventory (commenced Q4 2018) as protection against any supply chain disruption caused by Brexit. The success of the product revamp and internal supply chain improvements provided the group with the necessary confidence to significantly reduce inventory in the second half of the year generating significant cash flow benefits.

The group continues to develop new product lines and is optimistic for the impact these will have in the future which, when launched and coupled with our operational improvements, will widen our portfolio and provide opportunities for sales growth in both UK and International markets.

The group's successful investment strategy and management of liabilities in the pension scheme saw the deficit significantly improve from £3.7m to £1.5m. There continues to be volatility in global equity markets with the scheme's investment strategy constantly under review to mitigate the long term risk as much as possible.

The value of the investment property increased from £3.4m to £3.6m. The gain is highlighted separately in the income statement.

 

 

Group results

Revenue for the year was broadly in line with prior year at £19.2m (2018: £19.3m). Operating profit before valuation gain decreased to £2.2m (2018: £3.0m). However, the underlying profit excluding one off costs incurred during the Brexit preparation stock build and subsequent inventory reduction programme (£0.4m) was £2.6m. The group is more comfortable with the levels of inventory held at the year end and the current expectation is the inventory reduction programme has been completed and such operating profit impact should not arise in the foreseeable future. The remaining decrease was driven by the foreign exchange impact of stronger Sterling against the Euro (£0.2m) on the balance sheet at the end of the year and the investment in design and sales head count (£0.1m). The prior year continuing operations benefitted from management recharges to discontinued operations which now are absorbed by the continuing operations (£0.2m) which would give an underlying operating profit comparative for 2018 of £2.8m.

There was an unrealised valuation gain on the investment property of £0.2m (2018: £0.3m) giving an operating profit after valuation gains of £2.4m (2018: £3.3m).

Other finance costs relating in the main to the defined benefit pension scheme were £0.4m (2018: £0.4m). There were no further finance costs relating to GMP equalisation in the defined benefit scheme (2018: £0.3m).

There were no additional losses incurred from discontinued operations (2018: £1.4m).

After a tax charge of £0.4m primarily due to deferred tax on the pension scheme, partial unwinding of the deferred tax asset as brought forward losses are utilised against profits and unrealised valuation gain on the investment property (2018: £0.8m credit due to recognition of a deferred tax asset on group losses) profit attributable to shareholders of the group for the year was £1.6m (2018: £2.0m).

Basic and adjusted earnings per share were 3.97p (2018: 8.21p). Group basic earnings per share were 3.97p   (2018: 4.86p).

Operating cash flows before movements in working capital and other payables were £2.7m (2018: £1.8m). Working capital decreased by £0.4m (2018: £0.6m) following the inventory reduction programme partially offset by the subsequent impact on trade payables. Contributions of £0.4m (2018: £0.4m) were made to the defined benefit pension scheme in line with the agreement reached with the trustees based on the 2017 actuarial valuation. Capital expenditure of £0.4m (2018: £0.4m) related to investment in the Ossett site improving warehouse capacity and machine efficiency.

The group borrowed £1.7m during the year and utilised additional cash of £0.3m to acquire shares for the Employee Benefit Trust ("EBT) for subsequent use as part of the employee long-term incentive plan. £0.4m of the loan was repaid during the year. The loan is unsecured and repayable over three years in equal quarterly instalments.

Dividend payments totalled £1.1m with the prior year dividend payment including a special dividend (2018: £2.8m total dividend paid of which £1.4m related to a special dividend) following the announced closure of the residential carpets business.

Key performance indicators

As part of its internal financial control procedures the board monitors the key financial metrics of revenue, operating profit, gross margin, working capital (debtor and creditor days), inventory turns and cash. These KPI's are reviewed in comparison to previous year and the budget and analysis undertaken to establish trends and variances. For the year ended 31st December 2019, value added per employee amounted to £0.1m (2018: £0.1m), operating return   on sales was 11.3% (2018: 15.7%), return on net operating assets was 13.5% (2018: 18.5%) and working capital to sales percentage was 63.5% (2018: 60.4%).

Principal risks and uncertainties

The board has responsibility for determining the nature and extent of the risks it is willing to take in achieving its strategic objectives and ensuring that risks are managed effectively across the group. The board and the management team meet regularly to discuss the business and the risks that it faces. Risks are identified as being principally based on the likelihood of occurrence and potential impact on the group. The group's principal risks, which remain consistent with the prior year, are identified below, together with a description of how the group mitigates those risks.

The key operational risk facing the business continues to be the competitive nature of the markets for the group's products. To mitigate this risk the group seeks to improve existing products, introduce new products and achieve high levels of customer service and efficiency to attempt to differentiate from the competition.

The majority of the group's revenue arises from trade with flooring contractors and fit out companies. The activity levels within this customer base are determined by consumer demand which is created through a wide range of commercial refurbishment and new build projects. The general level of activity in these underlying markets has the potential to affect the demand for products supplied by the group and is subject to seasonal variations. The group mitigates these factors by closely monitoring sales trends and taking appropriate action early, along with strengthening the product range and developing new channels to market, both at home and abroad, to grow demand across a wider range of markets and negate the impact of seasonality.

The group operates a defined benefit pension scheme. At present, in aggregate, there is an actuarial deficit between the value of the projected liabilities of this scheme and the assets they hold. The amount of the deficit may be adversely affected by changes in a number of factors, including investment returns, long-term interest rate and price inflation expectations and anticipated members' longevity. Further increases in the pension scheme deficit may require the group to increase the amount of cash contributions payable to the scheme, thereby reducing cash available to meet the group's other operating, investing and financing requirements. The performance and risk management of the group's pension scheme and deficit recovery plan are regularly reviewed by both the group and the trustees of the scheme, taking actuarial and investment advice as appropriate. The results of these reviews are discussed with the board and appropriate action taken. Following the triennial funding valuation of the group's pension scheme as at 1st July 2017, a revised deficit recovery plan was agreed. Under the plan the company will continue to make annual contributions of £0.4m to allow a gradual reduction in investment risk. The next triennial funding valuation will be 1st July 2020.

Other risks

Raw material costs are a significant constituent of overall product cost and are impacted by global commodity markets. Significant fluctuations in raw material costs can have a material impact on profitability. The group continuously seeks out opportunities to develop a robust and competitive supply base, substitute new materials, agree fixed pricing where possible, source material with improved and shortened lead times and closely monitors selling prices and margins making adjustments when necessary.

The global nature of the group's business means it is  exposed to  volatility in  currency exchange rates in  respect of foreign currency denominated transactions, the most significant being the euro. In order to protect itself against currency fluctuations the group has taken advantage of the opportunity to naturally hedge euro revenue with euro payments utilising with foreign currency bank accounts. No transactions of a speculative nature are undertaken. Other risks include the availability of necessary materials, business interruption and the duty of care to our employees, customers and the wider public. These risks are managed through the combination of quality assurance and health and safety procedures and insurance cover.

The short and long-term impact of Brexit continues to be unclear in respect of the degree of its impact on future economic growth in the UK market or on any additional tariffs that may apply to UK businesses trading with the European Union if the trade negotiations during the transition period do not result in an agreed way forward. The group monitors this position and adjusts its forward plans where appropriate particularly in relation to its supply chain and working capital requirements particularly in light of the groups experience when planning for Brexit during 2019. The directors believe that the group's strength in refurbishment markets, its position as a UK manufacturer with a strong presence in the UK market and strategies of developing new sales channels will act to mitigate the impact of adverse changes and continue to provide opportunities for growth.

Management and personnel

We continue to recognise the hard work and dedication our staff have applied during the year and look forward to the contribution they can make going forward in the future of the company.

As part of its ongoing review of our staff incentivisation policy the board recognised the need to retain and reward members of staff for long-term outperformance and has established an employee share scheme. The purpose of the scheme is to incentivise employees through nil cost share awards.

The board created an employee benefit trust ("EBT") managed by independent trustees to operate the scheme and during the year purchased 2.8m shares to be held by the EBT to satisfy any awards under the scheme, thereby ensuring existing shareholders will not be diluted upon exercise. Awards will vest with beneficiaries over a three year period (which can be extended to a fourth year at the directors' discretion) after the achievement of group and individual performance conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

Current trading and future prospects

The continued investment in our successful commercial flooring business provides significant opportunities for profitable growth. The group has more flexibility in its ability to operate and continued investment in new products will continue throughout 2020 maintaining our confidence in the future prospects of the business If approved, a final dividend of 1.3p per share will be paid on 20th May 2020 to shareholders on the register at close of business on 14th April 2020, with an ex-dividend date of 9th April 2020.

 

MARTIN TOOGOOD                                    NEIL RYLANCE

Chairman                                                     Chief Executive Officer                                               4th March 2020

 

Enquiries:

 

Neil Rylance                                                                                                                                                                          01924 266561

Chief Executive Officer

 

Paul Stevenson                                                                                                                                                                     01924 266561

Group Finance Director

 

Peter Steel / Ben Farrow                                                                                                                                                    020 7496 3061

N+1 Singer

 

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.

 

The announcement has been agreed with the company's auditor for release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Income Statement

Year ended 31 December 2019

 







Year ended

Year ended



31 December

31 December



2019

2018



£'000

£'000

Continuing Operations




Revenue


19,183

19,260





Operating costs


(17,297)

(16,536)

Other operating income


280

291



_______

_______





Operating profit before exceptional items


2,166

3,015

Unrealised valuation gain


200

250





Operating profit


2,366

3,265





Finance income


6

1

Finance costs


(411)

(355)

Finance costs relating to GMP Equalisation


-

(299)



_______

_______





Profit before taxation


1,961

2,612





Taxation


(403)

785



_______

_______





Profit attributable to shareholders of the group from continuing operations


1,558

3,397



_______

_______

Discontinued Operations




Loss attributable to shareholders of the group from discontinued operations


-

(1,389)



_______

_______





Profit attributable to shareholders of the group


1,558

2,008



_______

_______





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

Year ended 31 December 2019

 

 

 



2019

2019

2018

2018



£

£

£

£

Profit attributable to shareholders of the group



1,558


2,008

Items that will not be classified to profit or loss






Actuarial gain/(loss) recognised in the pension scheme


2,172


(1,284)


Related deferred taxation


(369)


218




_______


_______





1,803


(1,066)

Items that will be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss when specific conditions are met






(Impairment)/Revaluation of property


(17)


78


Related deferred taxation


3


(13)




_______


_______





(14)


65




_______


_______

Total other comprehensive income/(loss)



1,789


(1,001)




_______


_______

Total comprehensive income attributable to shareholders of the group



3,347


1,007




_______


_______

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Balance Sheet

Year ended 31 December 2019



2019

2019

2018

2018



£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

Non-current assets






Property, plant and equipment


4,229


5,108


Intangible assets


39


95


Investment property


3,600


3,400


Deferred tax asset


847


1,466


Right-of-use-asset


1,233


-





_______


_______










9,948


10,069

Current assets






Inventories


5,461


6,797


Trade and other receivables


2,112


2,330


Cash and cash equivalents


2,957


2,732




_______


_______





10,530


11,859




_______


_______







Total assets



20,478


21,928




_______


_______

Current liabilities






Trade and other payables


(2,412)


(3,571)


Provisions


(320)


(320)


Lease liabilities


(329)


(187)


Loans and borrowings


(562)


-




_______


_______





(3,623)


(4,078)

Non-current liabilities






Deferred tax


(457)


(305)


Pension deficit


(1,472)


(3,688)


Lease liabilities


(323)


(323)


Deferred tax


(724)


-




_______


_______





(2,976)


(4,316)




_______


_______







Total liabilities



(6,599)


(8,394)




_______


_______







Net assets



13,879


13,534




_______


_______

Equity






Called up share capital



10,339


10,339

Share premium account



504


504

Own shares



(1,839)


-

Share based payment reserve



85


-

Capital redemption reserve



3,617


3,617

Revaluation reserve



3,048


3,096

Retained earnings



(1,875)


(4,022)




_______


_______







Total equity



13,879


13,534




_______


_______







 

 

 

 

Consolidated Cash Flow Statement

Year ended 31 December 2019







Year ended

Year ended



31 December

31 December



2019

2018



£'000

£'000





Cash flows from operating activities




Profit for the year


1,558

2,008

Depreciation


206

372

Depreciation of right-of-use-assets


274

-

Amortisation


65

58

Net finance costs


405

654

Profit on disposal of property, plant and equipment


(12)

(291)

Tax charge/(credit)


403

(785)

Unrealised valuation gain


(200)

(250)



_______

_______





Operating cash flows before movements in working capital


2,699

1,766





Decrease in inventories


1,336

140

Decrease in trade and other receivables


221

581

Decrease in trade and other payables


(1,159)

(174)

Increase in provisions for liabilities and charges


-

20



_______

_______





Cash generated from operations


3,097

2,333





Contributions to defined benefit pension scheme


(400)

(400)



_______

_______





Net cash generated from operating activities


2,697

1,933





Cash flows from investing activities




Payments to acquire intangible fixed assets


(9)

(29)

Payments to acquire tangible fixed assets


(378)

(399)

Receipts from sales of tangible fixed assets


136

513



_______

_______





Net cash (used in)/generated from investing activities


(251)

85



_______

_______

Cash flows from financing activities




Interest paid on lease liabilities


(21)

(14)

Interest paid on borrowings


(34)

-

Interest received


6

1

Proceeds from loan


1,700

-

Purchase of own shares by the EBT


(2,000)

-

Principal paid on lease liabilities


(343)

(183)

Repayment of loan


(448)

-

Equity dividends paid


(1,081)

(2,792)



_______

_______





Net cash used in financing activities


(2,221)

(2,988)



_______

_______





Net increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents


225

(970)

Cash and cash equivalents at start of the year


2,732

3,702



_______

_______





Cash and cash equivalents at end of the year


2,957

2,732



_______

_______





 

 

Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity

Year ended 31 December 2019

 

 

Share capital

Share premium account

 

Own shares

 

Share based payment reserve

Capital redemption

reserve

 

Revaluation

reserve

 

Retained earnings

 

Total equity

£000

£000

     £000

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

At 1st January 2018                                10,339

504

-

-

3,617

3,126

(2,267)

15,319

Comprehensive income for








the year








Profit for the year                                             -

-

-

-

-

-

2,008

2,008

Actuarial loss recognised








on the pension scheme                -

-

-

-

-

-

(1,066)

(1,066)

Revaluation of property                                  -

-

-

-

-

65

-

65

Total comprehensive income

for the year                                                    -

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

65

 

942

 

1,007

Contributions by and








distributions to owners








Dividend paid                                                    -

-

-

-

-

-

(2,792)

(2,792)

Revaluation Reverse Transfer                       -

-

-

-

-

(95)

95

            -

Total contributions by and distributions to owners                                                               -

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

(95)

 

(2,697)

 

(2,792)

At 31st December 2018                         10,339

504

-

-

3,617

    3,096

(4,022)

13,534

Effect of adoption of








IFRS 16 (Note 28)                          -

-

-

-

-

-

(6)

(6)

At 1st January 2019








as restated                             10,339

504

-

-

3,617

    3,096

(4,028)

13,528

Profit for the year                                             -

-

-

-

-

-

1,558

1,558

Actuarial gain recognised








on the pension scheme                -

-

-

-

-

-

1,803

1,803

Impairment of property                                   -

-

-

-

-

(14)

-

(14)

Total comprehensive income

for the year                                                    -

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

(14)

 

3,361

 

3,347

Contributions by and








distributions to owners








Dividend paid                                                    -

-

-

-

-

-

(1,081)

(1,081)

Purchase of own Shares








by the EBT                                       -

-

(2,000)

-

-

-

-

(2,000)

Share based payment                                    -

-

-

85

-

-

-

85

Own Shares Transfer                                      -

-

    161

-

-

-

(161)

-

Revaluation Reserve Transfer                       -

-

-

-

-

(34)

34

-

Total contributions by and distributions to owners                                                           -

 

-

 

(1,839)

 

85

 

-

 

(34)

 

(1,208)

 

(2,996)

At 31st December 2019                         10,339

504

(1,839)

85

3,617

     3,048

(1,875)

13,879

 

In accordance with Rule 20 of the AIM Rules, Airea confirms that the annual report and accounts for the year ended 31 December 2019 and notice of Annual General Meeting ("AGM") and related proxy form will be available to view on the Company's website at www.aireaplc.co.uk on 6 March 2020 and will be posted to shareholders by 19 March 2020. The AGM will be held at the Waterton Park Hotel, Walton Hall, Walton, Wakefield on 14th May 2020, at 2.00 p.m.


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Final results for the year ended 31 December 2019 - RNS