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VI Group PLC (VERO)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Thursday 30 March, 2000

VI Group PLC

Final Results - Year Ended 31 December 1999

VI Group PLC
30 March 2000


                                 VI GROUP plc                                 
                                                                              
                 Results for the year ended 31 December 1999                  

                                                                             
VI Group plc ('VI' or 'the Group'), one of the leading CAD/CAM software
designers and distributors, today announces its results for the year ended 31
December 1999.

SUMMARY

* Turnover up over 10% to £4.5m (1998: £4.1m) although reduced by the weakness
  of the Euro, without which the increase would have been 15% 

* Return to profitability with profits before tax of £438,000 (1998: loss of  
  £333,000)
 
* Operating profit of £427,000 (1998: £23,000)

* Earnings per share of 1.24p (1998: loss of 2.38p)

* Strong growth in the Japanese market with turnover up by 187%

* Stephen Palframan, former CEO of Bristow Helicopters Group, joined as       
  Non-executive Chairman on 10 January 2000


Don Babbs, Chief Executive of VI, commented:

'The strategy of concentrating on specific applications of CAD/CAM for
industry, particularly in the mould and die manufacturing sector, has been a
significant factor in our return to profitability. We intend to continue this
strategy and look at opportunities for accelerating our growth through
acquisitions and utilisation of the Internet.'


For further information, please contact:

Peter Wharton
Finance Director, VI Group plc       Tel:  01453 732900
       
Bobby Morse/Isabel Fox
Merlin Financial                     Tel:  0171 606 1244


Attached:     Chairman's statement
              Operating review
              Profit & loss account
              Balance sheet
              Cash flow statement
 
Chairman's statement

I am delighted to present my first annual statement as Chairman of the VI
Group and to be able to report continuing progress since flotation on AIM in
1998.

Profit before tax for 1999 was £438,000, a marked improvement over  the
previous year's loss before tax of £333,000. The fully diluted earnings per
share figure is 1.24p (1998: 2.38p loss). The previous year's performance was
depressed by the downturn in Asia and investment in marketing and
infrastructure, and reduced to a loss by a £367,000 one-off charge, largely
arising from the closure of the Belgian branch. The return to profit was
helped by the benefits from these investments and restructuring, and from a
recovery in Asia.

Turnover increased by 10% to £4.5 million, compared to £4.1 million in 1998.
With over half of our revenue being generated in Europe the extent of the
increase was hampered  by the weakness of the Euro, without which the
improvement would have been 15%.

Investment in product development continued at a high level throughout the
year, with the latest advanced VISI-Series software release, developed in
collaboration with our German and Japanese partners, producing significant
sales at the end of the year. A decision has also been taken to accelerate
investment in the development of product delivery and marketing over the
Internet, which would significantly reduce distribution costs and enhance
customer ease-of-use.

It is easy to forget that without the hard work and specialist skills of our
staff, none of this would be possible and I would like to take this
opportunity to thank them all. I also would like to thank our customers and
shareholders for their continuing support.

During the current year we are anticipating a further expansion in our
customer base, and this, along with continued product development, will
provide a platform for both organic and acquisition growth.

Stephen Palframan
Chairman
30 March 2000


 
Operating review
1999 saw the beginning of a return to an acceptable level of profitability for
the VI Group as a result of certain operational changes and investments that
were made following our flotation in 1998 and throughout 1999.

In particular the strategy explained at the Annual General Meeting in May 1999
of concentrating on specific applications of CAD/CAM for industry has produced
positive results in many areas.  The  VISI-Series software has become
recognised as an advanced product in the mould and die sector where much of
our efforts have been concentrated.  Increasing market share and penetration
in new geographical areas have contributed to the growth in revenues, although
the extent of underlying growth has been adversely affected by the weakening
Euro relative to sterling.   

Marketing investments have continued in 1999 with improvements to the
centralised web site, exhibition and specialised trade publication presence. 
These have produced good results within the desired sectors and need to be
pressed home in the coming months.  

The introduction of Visi-Series Release 7 helped produce some excellent
results at the end of the year, particularly in the area of mould tool
machinery using the latest generation of machine tools operating at higher
speeds. This new functionality was brought together by the development team
based in Italy, in collaboration with both German and Japanese partners where
customer demands for these processes are more advanced.  This type of
collaboration proves, once again, our commitment to team developments and the
sharing of ideas with reliable and knowledgeable partners.  

The change of European distribution centre from Belgium to our UK centre
initiated at the beginning of 1999 has stimulated a better than expected
response from the European competence centres and sales forces, with all areas
showing strong growth, albeit from a small base.  Further concentrations on
centralised resources are likely as new Internet support possibilities become
available.

In June we re-organised and moved our US office from Connecticut to Mount
Morris near Chicago.  This move was in line with group strategy to operate
from a location nearer to the mould and die markets of the USA.  The move also
significantly reduced operating costs enabling us to invest in new ventures on
the East Coast and in Canada. North America continues to be an important
market for our products with significant growth potential. We therefore remain
committed to growing our business in this market and continue to look for ways
of accelerating market penetration.

The market which provided greatest satisfaction in 1999 was the Japanese where
revenues increase by 187% compared to 1998. This was assisted by a recovery in
market conditions, the appointment of new dealers and the production of
specialist applications based on our own VISI-Series products.  The German
speaking area of Europe run by our partner Mecadat GmbH also provided
significant gains in terms of both revenue and software projects.  Other
important growth areas included Taiwan which achieved some large sales against
significant competition. 

Italy produced similar revenues to the previous year in local currency terms,
but was handicapped by political uncertainty in mid year and delays in updates
of product releases during the same period.  Following the introduction of the
latest software release,  sales climbed steeply in the last quarter.  The UK
remained disappointing throughout the year as manufacturing industry struggled
with a high pound and lack of investment confidence.  

Following a year of profitable growth we welcome the appointment of Stephen
Palframan as Non-executive Chairman. Stephen joined VI in January 2000 and was
previously Chief Executive of Bristow Helicopters Group.  We are very
fortunate to have access to his range of management and financial experience.
Together with Elliot Miller we believe we now have the necessary skills and
experience to form an effective non-executive team to complement those of the
executive directors. 

We expect the year 2000 will see a further expansion of the user base and
development activities.  Increased emphasis on our Internet based relations
with customers and competence centres will be a key part of our strategy and
several new initiatives in this area are planned.  We will continue to build
on the internal structures that we have put in place and developed during the
last two years which provide a platform for both organic and acquisition
growth through this coming year.  


Don Babbs
Chief Executive
30 March 2000


 
Consolidated profit and loss account
                                                   Year ended 31 December
                                                  1999                1998    
                                                 £'000               £'000
              
Turnover                                         4,545               4,117    
Cost of sales                                     (877)               (639)   
Gross profit                                     3,668               3,478
Selling expenses                                (1,700)             (1,851)
Administrative expenses                         (1,069)             (1,021)
Product development                               (614)               (593)
Net other operating income                         142                  10    
Operating profit                                   427                  23

Interest receivable and similar income              45                  83
Interest payable and similar charges               (34)                (72)

Profit on ordinary activities before exceptional  
items and taxation                                 438                  34
Exceptional  items                                   -                (367)
Profit (loss) on ordinary activities before
taxation                                           438                (333)

Taxation on ordinary activities                   (190)               (109)
                                                                
Profit (loss) on ordinary activities 
after taxation                                     248                (442)   
                                                                              
                                                       
Earnings (loss) per share - basic and diluted     1.24p              (2.38p)


Consolidated statement of total recognised gains and losses

                                                    Year ended 31 December
                                                   1999            1998       
                                                  £'000           £'000

Profit (loss) for the year                          248            (442)
Exchange movements                                 (100)             27
Total recognised gains and losses                   148            (415)


Consolidated balance sheet

                                                         31 December
                                                                              
                                                   1999            1998
                                                   £000            £000
Fixed assets:
Intangible fixed assets                             131              89
Tangible fixed assets                               426             509
Investments                                           1               1
                                                    558             599

Current assets:
Stock                                                 6              17
Debtors                                           2,161           2,023
Cash at bank and in hand                            820           1,277
                                                  2,987           3,317
Creditors; amounts falling due 
within one year                                  (1,063)         (1,299)
Net current assets                                1,924           2,018

Total assets less current liabilities             2,482           2,617

Creditors; amounts falling due
 after more than one year                         (110)            (192)
Provisions for liabilities and charges            (181)            (382)
                                                 2,191            2,043

Capital and reserves:
Called up share capital                            100              100
Share premium account                            2,358            2,358
Other reserves                                      10                5
Profit and loss account                           (277)            (420)

Equity shareholders'funds                        2,191            2,043


Approved by the Board of Directors on 30 March 2000 and are signed on its
behalf by




Don Babbs
Chief Executive
30 March 2000

Consolidated cash flow statement
                                                    Year ended 31 December    
                                                    1999             1998
                                                   £'000            £'000
                                                                              
Cash flows from operating activities:
Operating profit                                     427               23
Adjustments to reconcile operating profit
to net cash from operating activities:
Depreciation and amortisation                        190              187
(Profit) loss on disposal of assets                   (5)              10     
Exceptional items                                   (162)             (70)
Decrease in stocks                                    11               16 
(Increase) in debtors                               (416)            (161)
(Decrease) increase in liabilities and provisions    (75)             157
 
Net cash from operations                             (30)             162

Returns on investments and servicing of finance:
Interest received                                     43               83
Interest paid                                        (34)             (72)

Net cash inflow from returns on
investments and servicing of finance                   9               11

Taxation:
Taxes paid                                           (30)            (388)

Capital expenditure and financial investment
Purchase of tangible fixed assets                   (115)            (392)
Purchase of intangible fixed assets                  (80)               -
Sale of tangible fixed assets                         28                -     
 
Net cash outflow from capital expenditure
and financial investment                            (167)            (392)

Acquisitions and disposals:
Purchase of minority interests                         -             (574)

Cash flows from financing activities:
Issue of ordinary share capital                        -            2,872
Share issue costs                                      -             (414)
Mortgage loans repaid                                (37)             (35)
Repayment of finance leases                          (38)             (11)

Net cash flow from financing activities              (75)           2,412

Net (decrease) increase in cash                     (293)           1,231
Cash at beginning of year                            979             (236)
Exchange movements                                     6              (16)

Cash at the end of the year                          692              979

Cash
Cash at bank and in hand                             820            1,277
Bank overdrafts                                     (128)            (298)
                                                     692              979    


The financial information of the Group does not constitute statutory accounts
within the meaning of Section 240 of the Companies Act 1985 (as amended).  The
results for the year ended 31 December 1999 are based on the audited
consolidated financial statements of the Group which have been reported on by
the auditors, and which will be delivered to the Registrar of Companies.  The
report of the auditors was unqualified.

Copies of the 1999 Report and Accounts are being sent to shareholders today. 
Further copies will be available from VI Group plc, the Mill, Brimscombe Port,
Stroud, Glos. GL5 2QG.

The Annual General  Meeting of VI Group plc will be held at 12.00 noon on 23
May 2000 at the Brewery, Chiswell Street, London, EC1Y 4SD.