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Ultima Networks PLC (UTN)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Tuesday 01 May, 2001

Ultima Networks PLC

Final Results

Ultima Networks PLC
30 April 2001




CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

TRADING PERFORMANCE

During 2000 the financial performance of the Group was disappointing and
fell short of the Board's expectations, particularly in the second half
of the year.

Total  sales for 2000 of £6.95 million were 45% lower than the £12.54
million  achieved  in  1999. The loss before tax  was  £0.86 million  as
compared to £0.78 million in the previous year. However the loss for  the
year is stated after an exceptional credit to the profit and loss account
in  respect of a reduction in the provision for onerous lease commitments
of  £0.88 million. Excluding the effect of the exceptional item the loss
before  tax  would have been £1.74 million for the year. The  loss  per
share of 0.45p compares to a loss per share of 0.44p in 1999.

Group  borrowings at 31 December 2000 were £3.83 million as  compared  to
£3.31  million  at 31 December 1999. Included in those figures  are  bank
borrowings  of £2.65 million as compared to £2.07 million at 31 December
1999.

The Board is not recommending the payment of a dividend.

NETWORKING DIVISION

The  sales of the Networking Division were £5.85 million compared  to  
£10.75  million  in  1999.  This resulted in an operating  loss  of  
£0.96 million compared to an operating profit of £0.17 million in 1999.

Our  Networking  Services operation, UTN Solutions, achieved  sales  of
£4.32  million  compared to £8.59 million in 1999. This  resulted  in  an
operating loss of £0.25 million compared to an operating profit of £0.28
million  in  1999. In line with many other companies in the sector,  UTN
Solutions  experienced a reduction in sales as the anticipated upturn  in
IT expenditure following the millennium failed to materialise. The effect
of  the slower than anticipated trading conditions was further compounded
by the absence of some of the larger projects completed in 1999. However
some  significant  new  contracts  for  networking  infrastructure  were
implemented  across a broad range of industry sectors during the year.

The  Networking  Products  operation,  through  our  Canadian  subsidiary
SilCom,  achieved  sales of £1.53 million compared to  £2.16  million  in
1999.  This  resulted in an operating loss of £0.71 million  compared  to
£0.11  million in 1999. This is after expenditure of approximately  £0.50
million  on  research  and  development. As  predicted,  the  market  for
SilCom's  legacy  Token Ring networking products showed further  decline.
Silcom  continued its development of specialist monitoring and management
products for the cable television (CATV) marketplace in conjunction with
two North American partners. These products are designed to conform to the
evolving  industry  standard aimed at providing a  common  communications
protocol between cable television equipment from different manufacturers.
Unfortunately  this  standard  is taking  longer  than  expected  to  be
finalised  resulting  in  delays in the roll out  of  SilCom's  products,
something beyond the control the Group.

SOFTWARE DIVISION

The  sales of the Software Division were £1.10 million compared to  £1.79
million  in  1999. However, a reduction in overhead costs  and  increased
margins meant the operating loss was reduced to £0.14 million from £0.26
million in the previous year. Software development expenditure for the
division was approximately £0.20 million for the year.

Integrated  Publishing Systems, our publishing software company,  secured
several  major  new orders. These included one from a regional  newspaper
and   two   from   magazine  publishers,  the  first   such   significant
installations into this particular sector of the marketplace.



Cognito Software,  our  legal  software  company,  continued  to  expand its
software   product   portfolio  for  the  legal  marketplace   with   the
development  of  several new applications for Case Management,  including
debt  collection, matrimonial and conveyancing. The company also signed  a
partnership  deal  with Philips to sell their voice  recognition  product
into  solicitors'  practices. The product, which has  been  specifically
designed  for  the  legal marketplace, can be integrated, into  Cognito's
case  management software and offers major cost savings to solicitors  by
further  automating the normally time consuming production  of  documents
and standard forms.

OVERHEADS

Group overheads for the year were £0.24 million, before an exceptional
credit to the profit and loss account of £0.88 million, compared to £0.36
million last year. The reduction reflects the policy of cutting overheads
wherever possible. As stated, the exceptional credit to the profit and loss
account is due to a reduction in the provision for onerous lease commitments
following a reduction in the outstanding lease term on one property from 79
years to 15 years and a review of the assumptions made regarding the level of
future rental income received on properties leased to third parties.

OUTLOOK

The  results  for  2000 reflect slower than anticipated trading  and  the
ongoing legacy costs principally attaching to surplus properties  within
the  Group.  In  the light of the results the Board undertook  a  strategic
review  of the business and subsequently implemented significant changes
to  refocus  efforts  and resources on the Group's core  business  whilst
achieving  significant  overhead  cost  reductions,  estimated  at   £0.4
million on an annualised basis.

As  part of this review it was decided that SilCom was no longer core  to
the  Group's  activities. Whilst the CATV products have the potential  to
generate  significant  future  revenues, further  ongoing  investment  in
product  development in excess of £0.50 million per annum is required  as
well  as  significant marketing costs to bring the product to market. In
the  absence of any synergy with the networking businesses in the UK  the
Board  believes  that  shareholder value will be maximised  through  the
disposal of SilCom and its CATV business.

The Board is also addressing the issue of surplus properties within the
Group, both freehold and leased. It is the Board's intention that such
properties should be disposed of at the earliest opportunity.

The  UK  Networking Services business is now seen as the Group's core
activity with enormous potential for the future. Steps have already  been
taken  to streamline and restructure the business in order to make  more
efficient  use  of  existing  resources. The business  will  continue  to
develop  new  networking  solutions based around  internet  services  and
network  security using ADSL technology, which is seen as a major  growth
area  for the future. It will also offer customers products that  exploit
the  new Voice Over IP technology which represents the next exciting step
in the convergence of data and voice communications.

Despite  the  increase in the Group's net liabilities due to  the  losses
incurred in the year, the financial statements have been prepared on  the
going  concern basis in anticipation of the successful implementation  of
the  board's strategy of disposal of non-core and surplus assets in 2001.
This  strategy  is  seen  as an important factor  in  securing  long-term
financial  stability  of  the  Group and will  enable  it  to  focus  its
resources and efforts into an expanding Networking Services marketplace.

I would  like  to  take this opportunity to thank all our  employees  and
management for their continuing dedication and commitment to the Group.

Humayun A Mughal
Chairman
30 April 2001



ULTIMA NETWORKS PLC

CONSOLIDATED PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT 
for the year ended 31st December 2000
                                                           2000     1999
                                                  Note            
                                                           £'000     £'000 
TURNOVER                                            1      6,952    12,541 

Cost of Sales                                             (4,481)   (8,203)     
                        
                                           
GROSS PROFIT                                               2,471     4,338

Net Operating Expenses before exceptional items           (3,815)   (4,781)

Exceptional credit on provision for onerous leases  2        881         -

Total Net Operating Expenses                              (2,934)   (4,781)


OPERATING LOSS                                              (463)     (443) 

Interest payable and similar charges                        (402)     (340)

LOSS ON ORDINARY ACTIVITIES BEFORE TAXATION                 (865)     (783)

Taxation on loss on Ordinary Activities             3          -

UNRECOVERED LOSS FOR THE FINANCIAL PERIOD                   (865)     (783)

LOSS PER SHARE                                      4       (0.45)p   (0.44)p 

DILUTED LOSS PER SHARE                              4       (0.45)p   (0.44)p 


CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
at 31st December 2000

                                    2000                        1999

                                   £'000   £'000          £'000     £'000
Fixed Assets

Tangible assets                            2,493                    2,719

                                           2,493                    2,719
                                       

Current Assets

Stocks                              310                     371
Debtors                           1,066                   2,163
Cash at bank and in hand            554                     307
                                  1,930                   2,841

Creditors : Amounts due 
within one year                  (6,854)                 (5,610)

Net current liabilities                   (4,924)                  (2,769)

Total assets less current liabilities     (2,431)                     (50)

Creditors: Amounts due after one year       (501)                  (1,177)

Provisions for liabilities and charges    (1,138)                  (1,948)

Net liabilities                           (4,070)                  (3,175)
                                                              

Capital and Reserves

Called up equity share capital             7,434                    7,434
Share premium account                      5,520                    5,520
Acquisition reserve                        1,334                    1,334
Profit and loss account                  (18,358)                 (17,463)

Deficit of Shareholders' funds - Equity   (4,070)                  (3,175)


                                                           
                                           
CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOW STATEMENT            2000                     1999
                                           £'000                    £'000 

Cash outflow from operating Activities       (90)                    (43)       
          

Returns on Investments 
and Servicing of Finance                    (295)                   (315)       
             
Taxation                                       5                     187
         
Capital Expenditure 
and Financial Investment                    (136)                     88        
             
Acquisitions                                   -                     (65)       
                  
Cash outflow before Financing               (516)                   (148)

Financing:

    - Issue of shares                          -                     550
    - Costs associated with issue of shares    -                    (131)
    - issue of loan notes                      -                   1,101 
    - Reduction in debt                      (57)                   (612)

Net cash (Outflow)/Inflow from Financing     (57)                    908

(Decrease)/Increase in Cash in the Year     (573)                    760

NOTES

1 SEGMENTAL ANALYSIS                        2000                    1999
                                           £'000                   £'000

Turnover

                                                         
Networking Division:                       
Continuing operations                      5,853                  10,750

Software Division:                           
Continuing operations                      1,099                   1,791


Total                                      6,952                  12,541

Loss on ordinary activities before interest

                                                               
Networking Division:                                       
Continuing operations                       (962)                    171

                                                             
Software Division:                     
Continuing operations                       (144)                   (259)  
                                             
Group overheads                              643                    (355)

Total                                       (463)                   (443)
 

NOTES (CONTINUED)

2 EXCEPTIONAL CREDIT

The exceptional credit relates to a reduction in the provision for onerous lease
commitments following a reduction in the outstanding lease term on one property
from 79 years to 15 years and a review of the assumptions made regarding the
level of future rental income receivable on properties leased to third parties.


                                            2000                    1999
3 TAXATION

Taxation on loss on ordinary activities:

UK                                             -                       -
Overseas                                       -                       -
                                               -                       -


4 LOSS PER SHARE

The loss per ordinary share has been calculated on the weighted average number
of shares in issue during each year.

5 OTHER INFORMATION

This preliminary statement, which has been agreed with the auditors,
does not constitute the Company's statutory financial statements for the year
ended 31st December 2000. Statutory financial statements for 1999 have
been delivered to the Registrar of Companies, whereas those for 2000 will be
delivered after approval at the Annual General Meeting. The auditors have
reported on those financial statements; their reports were unqualified
and did not contain a statement under Section 237(2) or (3) of the
Companies Act 1985.


The Annual Report will be posted to shareholders as soon as practicable and will
be available to the public from the Company's registered office at Ultima
Networks PLC, Akhter House, Perry Road, Harlow, Essex CM18 7PN.