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Usher (Frank) Hldgs (AVG)

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Thursday 24 February, 2000

Usher (Frank) Hldgs

Interim Results - 6 Months to 30 November 1999

Usher (Frank) Holdings PLC
24 February 2000


FRANK USHER HOLDINGS PLC
PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED
30 NOVEMBER 1999

                                              1999         1998
                                              £'000        £'000


Turnover                                      8,995        10,456

Profit before tax                                35           741

Earnings per share                              0.4p         7.3p

Dividend per share                              2.0p         4.0p

       
Jeremy Hamer, the Chairman, said

-  Positive reaction to new collections

-  Fixed cost base continuing to fall



For further information please contact: 

Jeremy Hamer           -       Chairman, Frank Usher Holdings plc
(Tel: 07977 234614)

Paul Berendt           -       Company Secretary, Frank Usher Holdings plc
(Tel: 020 8202 1811)



Frank Usher Holdings plc
Group Profit and Loss Account for the six months ended 30 November 1999

                                     6 months     6 months         Year
                                        ended        ended        ended
                                  30 November  30 November       31 May
                                         1999         1998         1999
                                   (unaudited)  (unaudited)    (audited)
                                        £'000        £'000        £'000

Turnover                                8,995       10,456       20,482

Gross profit                            3,147        4,216        8,036
Distribution costs                       (329)        (388)        (700)
Administrative expenses                (2,762)      (3,067)      (5,936)

Operating profit                           56          761        1,400
Net interest payable                      (21)         (20)         (66)

Profit on ordinary activities              35          741        1,334
before taxation
Taxation                                  (10)        (230)        (481)

Profit on ordinary activities              25          511          853
after taxation
Dividends                                (126)        (263)        (480)

Retained earnings                        (101)         248          373

Earnings per share - basic                0.4p         7.3p        12.7p
Earnings per share - diluted              0.4p         7.3p        12.7p


Frank Usher Holdings plc
Group Balance Sheet
at 30 November 1999

                                  30 November  30 November       31 May
                                         1999         1998         1999
                                   (unaudited)  (unaudited)    (audited)
                                        £'000        £'000        £'000


Fixed assets                            3,740        3,828        3,786

Current assets                                                 
Stocks                                  2,723        2,716        2,418
Debtors                                 2,294        2,711        2,914
Cash at bank and in hand                   15          150          244
                                        5,032        5,577        5,576

Creditors (amounts falling due                                 
within one year)
Loans and overdrafts                      149            -          544
Trade and other creditors               2,602        3,156        2,696
                                        2,751        3,156        3,240

Net current assets                      2,281        2,421        2,336

Total assets less current               6,021        6,249        6,122
liabilities
Creditors (amounts falling due             -            -            -
after more than one year)
Deferred taxation                        (79)         (68)         (79)
                                       5,942         6,181       6,043
                                                               

Capital and reserves
Called up share capital                  316           329         316
Share premium account                  3,247         3,247       3,247
Capital redemption reserve               813           801         813
Other reserves                           180           180         180
Profit and loss account                1,386         1,624       1,487
                                       5,942         6,181       6,043




Frank Usher Holdings plc
Group Cashflow Statement for the 6 months ended 30 November 1999

                                     6 months     6 months         Year
                                        ended        ended        ended
                                  30 November  30 November       31 May
                                         1999         1998         1999
                                   (unaudited)  (unaudited)    (audited)
                                        £'000        £'000        £'000

Operating profit                           56          761        1,400
Depreciation                              112          118          263
Working capital decrease                  338          497          487

Net cash inflow from operating            506        1,376        2,150
activities
                                                         
Returns on investments and                               
servicing of finance
Net interest paid                         (21)         (20)         (66)
Taxation                                                 
UK corporation tax paid                    -           (75)        (676)
Capital expenditure                                      
Purchase of tangible fixed                (66)        (123)        (226)
assets (net)
Equity dividends paid                    (253)        (499)        (726)

Cash inflow before financing              166          659          456
                                                         
Financing                                                
Issue of ordinary share capital            -            23           23
Purchase of own share capital              -          (605)        (868)
                                           -          (582)        (845)
                                                         
Increase/(decrease) in cash               166           77         (389)


Notes

1.  Basic earnings per share are based on earnings of £25,000 (1998:£511,000)
    and 6,322,531 (1998: 6,971,547) Ordinary Shares being the weighted average
    number of shares in issue during the period.

2.  This interim report has been prepared using accounting policies consistent
    with those set out in the 1999 Annual Report and Accounts. The comparative
    figures for the year ended 31 May 1999 do not constitute statutory
    accounts.  These figures have been extracted from the audited  accounts
    for that year,which have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and
    on which the auditors issued an unqualified report, which did not contain
    a statement under either Section 237 (2) or 237 (3) of the Companies Act
    1985.  The results for the six months ended 30 November 1999 are          
    unaudited.

3.  This statement is being sent to shareholders of the Company and will be
    available at the Company's Registered Office at 100 The Broadway, West
    Hendon, London NW9 7AQ.

4.  Reconciliation of movements in shareholders' funds:

                                                                  £'000

Profit for the period after taxation                                 25
Dividends                                                          (126)
                                                                   (101)

Shareholders' funds at 1 June 1999                                6,043
Shareholders' funds at 30 November 1999                           5,942



Frank Usher Holdings plc
Chairman's statement

In difficult trading conditions it is with some relief that I report a first
half profit for the six months to 30 November 1999 of £35,000 (1998: £741,000)
in line with our earlier statement. Earnings per share are 0.4p (1998: 7.3p).
A dividend of 2.0p (1998: 4.0p) will be paid on 5 April 2000 to shareholders
on the register on 10 March 2000.

Trading
Of the total sales of £8,995,000 (1998: £10,456,000) the UK contributed
£4,665,000 (1998: £5,525,000) and overseas contributed £4,339,000 (1998:
£4,931,000). In the UK the retail market was held back by the previous year's
stock carry over, while in Europe the £ sterling has strengthened a further
12% in the last 12 months. However against these fundamentals we have seen
sales in our Dusk label rise 20% over the last year. Margins have fallen to
35% (1998: 40%) as a direct result of the difficult trading conditions.

Administration costs of £2,762,000 (1998: £3,067,000) are down for the second
year running reflecting management's continuing efforts in this area.

Strategy
During the last 6 months we have changed our design team and initial
reactions to the new collection are encouraging. We have a new marketing
consultancy whose work on our brand image is just being introduced. The
euphoria that preceded the Millennium created an overstock situation amongst
retailers particularly the evening wear sector . Against this background we
are pleased to see positive reaction  to our new collections. We are
exhibiting at all major international fashion fairs and we are pleased to
report the continuing development of our mediterranean customers . Frank Usher
is maintaining its UK position whilst Dusk is increasing its presence.  We are
investing in further designs for the very important UK wedding market, as
demonstrated in the spring 2000 brochure.
Our fixed cost base is continuing to fall and as part of the ongoing cost
reduction programme we have decided to relocate the London  premises to
smaller prestigious showrooms in  Grosvenor Street, Mayfair which will show
substantial cost saving. Overall much of the reorganisation referred to in my
two previous statements has been completed

Future Prospects
The impact of our new design and marketing teams will begin
to be seen by the market this spring and more so in our Autumn 2000
collection. Initial reactions are encouraging despite market conditions. Your
board is confident that the changes being implemented will bear fruit in the
long term.

Jeremy Hamer
Chairman
24 February 2000