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Toad PLC (TGP)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Friday 19 March, 2004

Toad PLC

Final Results


Embargoed Release: 07:00hrs 19th March 2004

                                Toad Group plc                                 

                            (`Toad' or the `Group')                            

    Preliminary Results Announcement for the Year Ended 31st December 2003     

Highlights

  * Pre-tax profit up 380% to £1.1m
   
  * Further reduction in net debt down £2.2m to £3.9m
   
  * Organic growth projects coming on stream:
   
  * 
      + In-car hands-free kit installations for Vodafone and `3'.
       
      + Vehicle Inspection Service - over half the UK's leading insurance
        companies in the process of running trials
       
      + Datatool brand extended and launched into Europe
       
  * Acquisition strategy launched
   
Peter Ward, Chairman of Toad Group plc, commented:

'I am delighted with the performance of the group over the past 12 months,
which has resulted in a four-fold increase in profit and a substantial
reduction in net debt. With the continued strengthening of our balance sheet
and new projects starting to generate good earnings, we are looking forward to
the future with justified confidence.'

      To visit the new Toad Group website go to: www.tgplc.com/index.php       

For Further Information:

Peter Ward                Toad Group Plc             020 8710 4016            
                                                                              
Chairman                                                                      
                                                                              
Adam Reynolds             Hansard Communications     020 7245 1100            
                                                                              
Andrew Tan                Hansard Communications     020 7245 1100            

Chairman's Statement

I am pleased to report that we have built upon the turnaround achieved in 2002
and recorded a 380% increase in pre-tax profit to £1.1m for the year to 31
December 2003, having made a profit of £0.2m in 2002 and a loss of £1.0m in
2001. We generated cash from operations of £2.6m (2002: £3.7m) and have reduced
debt by £2.2m so that it now stands at under £4m. This compares to net debt of
£6.1m at the end of 2002 and £8.5m at the end of 2001 - a total reduction in
borrowings of £4.6m over two years.

                                                 2003               2002     
                                                                             
                                                  £m                 £m      
                                                                             
Turnover                                         34.4               34.1     
                                                                             
Operating profit after amortisation of           1.6                1.0      
intangibles                                                                  
                                                                             
Net profit before tax                            1.1                0.2      
                                                                             
Net profit after tax*                            1.3                0.2      
                                                                             
Net debt                                         3.9                6.1      

* There is a £0.2m tax credit in 2003 (2002: nil) resulting from the accounting
requirement to create a deferred tax asset

Sales overall increased to £34.4m (2002: £34.1m) largely due to the increased
activity from our mobile phone hands-free installation business. This business
commenced in November 2003 and is growing rapidly. The recent change in UK
legislation requiring the use of hands-free kits in vehicles has given a boost
to this market, however, we believe that the opportunities for the Toad Group
extend well beyond this immediate surge in demand and we are currently
recruiting and training additional engineers.

During 2003 the sales mix of the group changed and, while the mature sectors
have seen pricing pressure, development of new business areas and tight control
of overheads have combined to achieve a £0.6m increase in operating profit.

At the end of the year we took the decision to relocate our Datatool motorcycle
security business from Hampshire to our head office site where the benefits of
centralised services and distribution can support our plans to grow the
Datatool business.

This year, we have invested more in the training and development of our people.
The management and staff in the Toad Group comprises approximately 250
employees each of whom have contributed to the turnaround in the business. The
board thanks them all for their dedication and enthusiasm.

We are encouraged by the performance of the group during the year and recognise
that we need to take advantage of our relatively strong position to accelerate
the growth of the business. Our strategy is focused on two key elements. The
first is to continue to generate cash from our mature businesses to fund
existing business sectors with earnings growth potential. The second is to seek
to build further on this foundation by identifying acquisitions which will grow
the overall scale and quality of our business. 2004 has commenced strongly,
current trading is in line with market expectations and the board is looking
forward to the future with justified confidence.

Peter Ward

Chairman

Operating review

During the year we simplified our group structure to:

Insurance Services: provision of claims handling and fulfilment for the UK's
major insurance companies. The legacy business is founded on the replacement of
stolen in-car audio equipment but has now been extended to offer replacement or
repair of lost or damaged cameras and computers. Insurance Services represents
36% (2002: 39%) of our total turnover.

Technical Services: supply and installation of mobile phone hands-free kits,
security, telematics and sat-nav systems to fleet and other non-insurance
customers. Technical Services represents 6% (2002: 4%) of our total turnover

Distribution: supply of third party in-car entertainment systems, own-brand
security systems and interface cables to the retail or wholesale trade, vehicle
and motorcycle manufacturers. Distribution represents 58% (2002: 57%) of our
total turnover.

Insurance Services

Turnover at £12.5m was down on the previous year (2002 sales: £13.2m). The
replacement of stolen in-car entertainment systems is a maturing market as
vehicle security improves and new vehicles come with integral entertainment
systems. Recognising the maturity of this market, we have extended our services
into the replacement or repair of lost, stolen or damaged cameras and
computers. We see this as a market with growth potential.

Fraud continues to be a major risk for insurance companies. We have been at the
forefront of introducing new `vehicle inspection services' that enable
underwriters to verify the status of a vehicle and its driver using our
existing call handling, booking and engineering infrastructure. We are in the
process of conducting trials with over half of the UK's leading insurers and
see this as another market with growth potential.

Technical Services

Toward the end of 2003 and timed to co-incide with the change in legislation,
we established ourselves as a leading player in the installation of mobile
hands-free car kits. Hands-free kits are now mandatory in the UK for anyone
wishing to use a mobile phone in their vehicle. The existing UK car parc is in
excess of 28 million vehicles and new vehicle registrations in 2003 were 2.5m.
We anticipate that a significant proportion of drivers will require a
hands-free kit.

As a provider of installation services to some of the UK's leading network
providers, sales from the installation of hands-free kits started in earnest in
the last quarter of the year. This accounts for much of the increase in
Technical Services sales which were £2.0m for the year (2002: £1.5m). Sales of
hands free installations, which in December annualised at over £2m, have
continued to show rapid growth and currently the only limit to further growth
is the speed with which we can recruit engineers to meet demand.

Telematics turnover for our Actra fleet management and diagnostics system was
in line with the previous year but reduced costs brought us to breakeven for
the year.

Distribution

Turnover increased to £19.9m (2002 £19.4m). Vehicle security and in particular
sales to vehicle manufacturers performed strongly against our expectations with
sales up 10%. In-car entertainment sales were in line with the previous year.

Our motorcycle security business, Datatool, increased market penetration in a
sector in which overall superbike sales were down on the previous year. At the
end of the year we brought control of all Datatool distribution in house
(previously some 45% of sales were handled for us by a third party distributor)
and while this inevitably gave some short term disruption to sales, we have
reduced the operating costs of this business.

We have also extended the Datatool branded product range to include chargers,
locks and chains and we have won the UK motorcycle distribution rights for the
market leading Trovan RF micro-chip tagging devices, which are now branded
Datatool in the UK.

In addition, we announced at the Motorcycle Show in November that we had won
the UK distribution rights for the revolutionary Reevue helmet which allows
riders to see behind them whilst still facing forward. The helmet is expected
to go on sale in the UK in the second half of 2004.

The balance of the turnover in the distribution division was made up by our
interface leads business which benefited from the growth in sales of mobile
phone hands-free installations which require car and radio specific auto-mute
interface cables.

Working capital and net debt

We continued with the disciplined working capital management of previous years
to generate £2.6m from operations. Funds were also boosted by a placing of
shares in September 2003 which raised £0.7m so that, after repayment of
interest of £0.5m (2002: £0.7m) and capital expenditure £0.6m (2002: £0.2m)
including investment in new systems, the net debt was reduced by £2.2m to stand
at £3.9m (2002: £6.1m).

People and processes

This year we have invested in training our staff and have built our own
engineer training facility at our head office site to accelerate the
recruitment of engineers to support the rapid growth of our mobile phone
installation business.

We have developed disaster recovery strategies and support systems to underpin
the service which we offer to our customers and are introducing new IT systems
to enable us to manage our business more efficiently. We plan to equip our
engineers with PDA technology alongside the existing Actra telematics fleet
management systems to ensure that we continue to provide a leading service to
our customers.

Nick Grimond

Managing Director

Consolidated profit and loss account

for the year ended 31 December 2003

                             Before         Amortisation                        
                             amortisation                                       
                             of                       of                        
                             intangibles     intangibles                        
                                                                                
                                                           2003             2002
                                                                                
                       Notes £'000          £'000          £'000           £'000
                                                                                
Turnover                   1       34,361              -      34,361      34,138
                                                                                
Cost of sales                    (20,807)              -    (20,807)    (20,445)
                                                                                
Gross profit                       13,554              -      13,554      13,693
                                                                                
Other operating                  (11,604)          (304)    (11,908)    (12,708)
expenses                                                                        
                                                                                
Operating profit                    1,950          (304)       1,646         985
                                                                                
Interest payable and                (586)              -       (586)       (765)
similar charges                                                                 
                                                                                
Profit on ordinary                  1,364          (304)       1,060         220
activities                                                                      
                                                                                
before taxation                                                                 
                                                                                
Taxation                   2          200              -         200          11
                                                                                
Profit on ordinary                  1,564          (304)       1,260         231
activities after                                                                
taxation                                                                        
                                                                                
Minority interests                   (86)              -        (86)           8
                                                                                
Profit for the year                 1,478          (304)       1,174         239
attributable to                                                                 
members of the parent                                                           
company                                                                         
                                                                                
  Earnings per share -              1.95p                      1.55p       0.32p
                 basic                                                          
                                                                                
             - diluted              1.94p                      1.54p       0.32p
                                                                                

Balance Sheets

as at 31 December 2003

                                                    Group              Company
                                                                              
                                      2003           2002   2003          2002
                                                                              
                                      £'000         £'000   £'000        £'000
                                                                              
Fixed assets                                                                  
                                                                              
Intangible assets                        1,321      1,616          -         -
                                                                              

Tangible assets                          2,906      2,693          -         -
                                                                              
Investments                                  -          -     16,115    16,115
                                                                              
                                         4,227      4,309     16,115    16,115
                                                                              
Current assets                                                                
                                                                              
Stocks                                   3,755      4,105          -         -
                                                                              
Debtors                                  5,153      4,568      6,950     5,039
                                                                              
Cash at bank and in hand                   541        842         29       384
                                                                              
                                         9,449      9,515      6,979     5,423
                                                                              
Creditors: amounts falling due         (6,281)    (7,441)    (1,049)   (1,012)
                                                                              
within one year                                                               
                                                                              
Net current assets                       3,168      2,074      5,930     4,411
                                                                              
Total assets less current                7,395      6,383     22,045    20,526
liabilities                                                                   
                                                                              
Creditors: amounts falling due         (1,892)    (2,831)    (1,890)   (2,805)
after more than one year                                                      
                                                                              
Minority interests - equity                  -         86          -         -
                                                                              
Net assets                               5,503      3,638     20,155    17,721
                                                                              
Capital and reserves                                                          
                                                                              
Called up share capital                  8,144      7,775      8,144     7,775
                                                                              
Share premium account                   12,110     11,788     12,110    11,788
                                                                              
Share capital to be issued                  43         43         43        43
                                                                              
Merger reserve                               -          -      1,001     1,001
                                                                              
Profit and loss account               (14,794)   (15,968)    (1,143)   (2,886)
                                                                              
Shareholders' funds                                                           
                                                                              
Equity                                   4,724      2,859     19,376    16,942
                                                                              
Non-equity                                 779        779        779       779
                                                                              
                                         5,503      3,638     20,155    17,721
                                                                              

Consolidated statement of cash flows

for the year ended 31 December 2003

                                                    2003             2002
                                                                         
                                              Notes £'000           £'000
                                                                         
Net cash inflow from operating activities         3    2,551        3,700
                                                                         
Return on investments and servicing of                                   
finance                                                                  
                                                                         
Interest paid                                          (493)        (666)
                                                                         
Interest paid on finance leases                          (8)         (10)
                                                                         
                                                       (501)        (676)
                                                                         
Taxation                                                                 
                                                                         
UK corporation tax refunded/(paid)                       155         (60)
                                                                         
Capital expenditure                                                      
                                                                         
Purchase of intangible fixed assets                      (9)        (115)
                                                                         
Purchase of tangible fixed assets                      (668)        (239)
                                                                         
Sale of tangible fixed assets                             38          153
                                                                         
                                                       (639)        (201)
                                                                         
Acquisitions                                                             
                                                                         
Purchase of subsidiary                                     -        (250)
                                                                         
Cash inflow before financing                           1,566        2,513
                                                                         
Financing                                                                
                                                                         
Issue of shares                                          691            -
                                                                         
Repayment of long term borrowings                    (1,000)      (1,000)
                                                                         
Repayment of principal under finance                   (103)         (40)
leases                                                                   
                                                                         
                                                       (412)      (1,040)
                                                                         
Increase in cash in the year                      4    1,154        1,473
                                                                         

Preliminary results announcement - notes

1.Turnover

Turnover consists primarily of sales made in the United Kingdom from the
group's main continuing activity. Export sales are not material.

2.Taxation

Analysis of credit in year:

                                                    2003                 2002
                                                                             
                                                    £'000               £'000
                                                                             
Current tax                                                                  
                                                                             
UK corporation tax on the profit for the year               -               -
                                                                             
Over provision in prior years                               -            (11)
                                                                             
Total current tax                                           -            (11)
                                                                             
Deferred tax                                            (200)               -
                                                                             
Total tax credit for the year                           (200)            (11)
                                                                             

3. RECONCILITATION OF OPERATING PROFIT TO NET CASH INFLOW FROM OPERATING
ACTIVITES

                                                           2003          2002
                                                                             
                                                          £'000         £'000
                                                                             
Operating profit                                          1,646           985
                                                                             
Depreciation on tangible fixed assets                       417           458
                                                                             
Profit on disposal of tangible fixed assets                   -          (48)
                                                                             
Amortisation of intangible fixed assets                     304           255
                                                                             
Decrease in stocks                                          350           826
                                                                             
(Increase)/decrease in debtors                            (540)         2,159
                                                                             
Increase/(decrease) in creditors                            374         (935)
                                                                             
Net cash inflow from continuing operating activities      2,551         3,700
                                                                             

4.RECONCILATION OF NET CASH FLOW TO MOVEMENT IN NET DEBT

                                                          2003           2002
                                                                             
                                                         £'000          £'000
                                                                             
Increase in cash in the year                             1,154          1,473
                                                                             
Cash outflow from movement in debt                       1,103          1,040
                                                                             
Change in net debt arising from cash flows               2,257          2,513
                                                                             
Other                                                     (85)           (85)
                                                                             
Movement in net debt in the year                         2,172          2,428
                                                                             
Net debt at 1 January (see note 5)                     (6,088)        (8,516)
                                                                             
Net debt at 31 December (see note 5)                   (3,916)        (6,088)
                                                                             

Preliminary results announcement - notes

5. ANALYSIS OF NET DEBT

                                        At       Cash       Other    At        
                                                 Flow                          
                                        31                                   31
                                  December                             December
                                      2002                                 2003
                                                                               
                                     £'000      £'000       £'000    £'000     
                                                                               
Cash at bank and in hand               842      (301)           -           541
                                                                               
Bank overdrafts                    (3,007)      1,455           -       (1,552)
                                                                               
                                   (2,165)      1,154           -       (1,011)
                                                                               
Finance leases                       (118)        103           -          (15)
                                                                               
Short term bank loans              (1,000)      1,000     (1,000)       (1,000)
                                                                               
Other loans                        (2,805)          -         915       (1,890)
                                                                               
                                   (6,088)      2,257        (85)       (3,916)
                                                                               

6. Publication of non-statutory accounts

The financial information set out above does not constitute the Group's
statutory accounts for the years ended 31st December 2002 and 2003, but is
derived from those accounts. The auditors have reported on the 2002 and 2003 
accounts, their reports was unqualified and did not contain statements under 
section 237 (2) or (3) of the Companies Act 1985. Statutory accounts for 2002 
have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies in England and Wales, and 
those for 2003 will be delivered following the Company's Annual General Meeting.

                                     -END-                                     

For Further Information:

Peter Ward                Toad Group Plc             020 8710 4016            
                                                                              
Chairman                                                                      
                                                                              
Adam Reynolds             Hansard Communications     020 7245 1100            
                                                                              
Andrew Tan                Hansard Communications     020 7245 1100