GUINNESS PEAT GROUP PLC
Interim Management Statement
Guinness Peat Group plc ("GPG") today publishes its interim management statement ("IMS") covering the period from 1 July 2011 to 17 November 2011. This IMS has been prepared solely to provide additional information to shareholders to meet the requirements of the UK Listing Authority's Disclosure and Transparency Rules and should not be relied on by any other party or for any other purpose.
During the period from 1 July 2011, GPG has completed the disposals of six further investments: Augean, Dickinson Legg, Jersey Electricity, Marshalls, M J Gleeson and Turners Auctions. Total funds generated in this period from investments amounted to £34m giving a cumulative total since 1 January 2011 of £132m.
As announced on 10 November 2011, GPG has entered into a lock-up agreement to sell its 63.46% holding in Turners & Growers Limited ("T&G") at a price of NZ$1.85 per share, subject to regulatory approvals and certain other conditions. A sale at this price would generate sales proceeds of approximately £67m based on current exchange rates. The offer from BayWa Aktiengesellschaft ("BayWa") to purchase T&G is by way of cash consideration.
Including the prospective sale to BayWa of GPG's shares in T&G, total net proceeds (incorporating income from dividends and capital returns) generated year to date would be approximately £199m, or approximately one quarter of the opening investment portfolio (excluding Coats and cash) at 1 January 2011.
In July 2011 GPG completed an £80m return of capital to shareholders. The net asset backing per share stood at 53.51p at 30 September 2011. This is measured before deducting the 1.15p per share dividend paid in October 2011 or making any adjustment in respect of the conditional sale of GPG's interest in T&G.
GPG Parent Group cash at 30 September 2011 amounted to £204m (£271m at 30 June 2011) and during the period covered by this report GPG successfully concluded a new three year £130m bank facility agreement. This facility is presently undrawn.
At 30 September 2011 the liability in respect of Capital Notes was NZ$426m (£209m). GPG Finance plc ("GFN") gave notice on 9 September 2011 of its intention to purchase on 15 March 2012 the notes issued by it with an election date of 15 December 2013. These notes have a principal value of NZ$77m (£38m). The remaining notes issued by GFN have an election date of 15 November 2012.
Despite continued volatility in Coats' markets, third quarter sales in both the Industrial and Crafts Divisions and in each geographical region experienced year on year improvement as Coats' growth initiatives continued to provide momentum. However, as advised at the half year, record high input costs have impacted gross margins and this is putting pressure on second half profitability, particularly in the Industrial Division.
At the end of October, Coats successfully completed the refinancing of its core committed bank facility by signing a five year agreement with its key relationship banks.
Full Year Results
GPG is scheduled to release its 2011 full year results at the end of February 2012.
The financial information on which this statement is based has not been reviewed or reported on by GPG's auditors.
Guinness Peat Group plc
Tel: +44 20 7484 3370
17 November 2011
Enquiry details are:
New Zealand and Australian media: Geoff Senescall on: +64 9 309 5659
UK media: Kevin Smith on: +44 20 7282 1054