24 July 2001
TOAD plc Interim Report for 6 months to June 30th 2001.
Chief Executive's Statement
I am pleased to present our interim figures for the six months to 30 June
Turnover remained stable at £17.0m (6 months to 22 June 2000: £16.9m) despite
the ending last year of our distribution agreement with Laserline Italy that
contributed approximately £1.4m of turnover in the first half of last year.
Margins have also been squeezed by the strong dollar, which is the currency
for around 25% of our stock purchases.
Despite these challenges our core business contributed £1.1m (6 months to 22
June 2000: £1.7m) to operating profit in the six months.
The underlying profitability of our core business was used to support our
investment in our new ACTRA telematics system and provide cover for
acquisition costs, other exceptional items and goodwill:
Investment in Actra 0.3
Goodwill and other exceptionals 0.2
France JV costs 0.1
This had the effect of reducing our net profit before interest and tax to £
0.5m (22 June 2000: £1.7m).
During the six months we have been developing ACTRA, our new range of in-car
telematics systems. Developed in conjunction with a number of internationally
based 'best of breed' partners, the first of these systems, ACTRA Fleet, went
on sale this month and we have already signed up a number of fleet customers.
This web based system provides the fleet owner with the ability to manage
their vehicles anywhere in the world and receive a range of detailed reports
that enable them to dramatically improve vehicle/driver efficiency and reduce
fleet running costs.
The system is also being fitted to our own fleet of over 100 vehicles and
trials indicate that we should be able to considerably reduce our vehicle
running costs and improve the utilisation of our engineers, saving the company
around £200,000 a year.
On 1 June we acquired Datatool (S.C Hill Limited), the UK's number one
motorcycle alarm company, for £1 million in cash and up to £2 million, to be
satisfied by the issue of up to 3,433,476 new TOAD shares at a price of
58.25p, contingent on the achievement by Datatool of PBIT after certain
adjustments of £750,000 for the year to December 31st 2001 and £850,000 for
the year to December 31st 2002. The Datatool business, which the directors
believe perfectly complements our existing vehicle alarm and immobiliser
business, made PBIT of £700K before exceptional directors' bonuses and
remuneration for the year to December 2000 on turnover of £2.7 million.
The directors believe that Datatool's considerable experience of the
motorcycle market will enable the company to exploit the potential for
telematics systems in this market.
Our mobile installation service to the insurance, fleet and multiple retailer
companies continues to be the UK's number one business in this market sector.
Our marketing alliance with Autoglass continues in the UK. We took the
decision to focus on developing our telematics business rather than launch our
services in Paris with Carglass SA, having established a modus operandi for a
joint venture installation service in Europe. We will revisit expansion into
Europe once our telematics operation is established in the UK.
Our vehicle security business has responded to the setback resulting from the
loss of Laserline and an aggressive sales policy, improved purchasing and the
launch of our new Max Power range of alarms and immobilisers is already
showing positive results. The directors expect the division to improve its
sales in the second half of the year.
Toad Audio Express
Our audio wholesale business performed exceptionally well during the six
months, increasing its sales and retaining its position as the UK's number one
audio wholesaler to the specialist aftermarket.
We have a controlling stake in Integrated Technologies (International)
Limited, which develops and distributes audio interface cables that link
aftermarket CD and MD changers, such as Kenwood and Sony, to car
manufacturers' radio head units.
The business began to trade profitably during the six months and the directors
believe this business will continue to grow during the second half of the
Our e-commerce operation has performed well and we have a number of
established affinity partnerships with the UK's leading online car retailers.
We will seek new opportunities to capitalise on providing our products and
installation services to third parties through the internet.
Our new range of Toad M3 multi-media systems, which we launched last year,
have been well received by the vehicle aftermarket and during the last six
months we have concentrated on achieving distribution into major multiple
retailers, such as Halfords and adding a new range of ultra slim TV screens,
DVD players and in-car navigation systems to the range. Sales of M3 showed
impressive growth in the first half of the year and the directors believe this
will continue in the second half.
Brokers & Financial Advisors
With effect from today we have appointed Granville Baird as our new brokers
and financial advisors. Our thanks go to the outgoing team at WestLB Panmure
for their support over the last six years.
At our AGM in May Professor Sir Christopher Evans OBE retired from the board
of Toad plc, of which he was Chairman, to focus his attention on the expansion
of Merlin Biosciences across Europe. Toad was Chris's vision and it was
through his energy and hard work that the company became the number one
specialist audio and security company in the UK. I would like to thank Chris
for his contribution over the last seven years.
An announcement will be made in the near future regarding the appointment of a
new Chairman and in the meantime I have taken the responsibility as Acting
Current trading is in line with expectations and we believe that the new ACTRA
systems, the acquisition of Datatool and our other initiatives described
above, will provide us with a more profitable business in the long term.
Chief Executive and Chairman
Tel 020-8-710 7710
Media Enquiries to:-
ANTHONY EDWARDS (LONDON) LIMITED
Tel 01932 336161
Mobile 0771-002 5957