12 June 2017
Northern Bear PLC
(“Northern Bear”, the “Company” or, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”)
The board of directors of Northern Bear plc (the “Board”) is pleased to provide an update on its trading for the year ended 31 March 2017 (“FY2017”).
- Earnings per share from continuing operations for FY2017 are ahead of FY2016 and management expectations following another strong year’s trading.
- Net positive cash position at 31 March 2017 (31 March 2016: £2.5m net bank debt).
- Progressive dividend policy to continue (FY2016: 2.0p per share).
The Board is delighted to announce that the unaudited preliminary results after tax for continuing operations for FY2017 will be ahead of prior year results and management expectations.
This has been achieved through an increase in turnover following a relatively mild winter and continued strong performance, particularly in the Group’s Roofing division, along with continued careful contract selection and management.
The Company disposed of its subsidiary Chirmarn Holdings Limited on 31 March 2017, as previously announced, following a strategic review. As a result the Group will report a loss on discontinued operations in the year which will include trading losses of £0.2m (FY2016: £0.1m profit), a loss on book value on disposal, and a non-cash write off of related goodwill.
Reduction in bank debt
The strong trading performance has resulted in a further significant improvement in the Group’s financial position. The Group will, for the first time since flotation, report a positive net cash position at 31 March 2017 (31 March 2016: £2.5m net bank debt).
We have experienced excellent results from continuing operations across the whole Group being roofing services, building services and materials handling. We have carried out work from the North of Scotland to Cornwall and an element of the growth that has been achieved is attributable to the geographical expansion of the Group’s customer base.
We have moved into the new financial year with a particularly strong order book for the time of year which currently provides optimism for another good set of results in the year ending 31 March 2018.
In view of the continued strong performance of the Group, the Board is pleased to announce that it is planning to increase the proposed final dividend in respect of the year ended 31 March 2017 (FY2016: 2.0p per share) subject to Shareholder approval.
Steve Roberts, Executive Chairman of Northern Bear, commented:
“As a Board, we are again delighted with the performance of the Group in the year ended 31 March 2017. We are fortunate to have a very strong management team in all of our businesses and the continued strong performance is testament to their efforts and skills.
“After careful consideration, and over a two year period during which many options were assessed, we decided to dispose of our asbestos removal business, Chirmarn, to concentrate our efforts in other business sectors where the board believes greater growth can be achieved. The results from continuing operations assisted us in making this decision.
“As previously reported, after many years of effort reducing bank debt, we are delighted to announce that the Group had a net positive cash balance at 31 March 2017. Whilst there are obviously working capital swings within any given month, our £4.5m of revolving and overdraft facilities provide us with the resource to continue with our progressive dividend policy whilst having the financial wherewithal to look at smaller acquisitions without the need to raise new equity.
For further information please contact:
|Northern Bear Plc|
|Steve Roberts – Executive Chairman||+44 (0) 84 5680 2369|
|Tom Hayes – Finance Director||+44 (0) 84 5680 2369|
|Strand Hanson Ltd|
|James Harris / James Spinney||+44 (0) 20 7409 3494|