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Wensum Company PLC (WNS)

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Monday 19 April, 2004

Wensum Company PLC

Final Results

Wensum Company PLC
19 April 2004

THE WENSUM COMPANY PLC

PRELIMINARY RESULTS

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

Results

In the interim statement last September I reported that, for the rest of the
year, we expected that a profit improvement in our corporatewear business would
be offset by a shortfall in tailoring, and that profits for the group would be
broadly in line with 2003. In the event, we have performed better than
expectations.  Group profits before tax increased by 5% to £811,930 (£774,355),
on sales ahead by 3% at £14.1 million (£13.7 million), and cash balances rose to
£1.57 million (£1.26 million).


Dividend

The board recommends an unchanged final dividend of 4.2p which, together with
the interim dividend of 2.0p, maintains the total for the year at 6.2p for the
third successive year. This dividend, if approved at the Annual General Meeting,
will be payable on 25 June 2004 to shareholders on the register on 14 May 2004.


Operating Review

Wensum Corporate, based in Gatwick, designs and manages corporate clothing
projects for leading companies in the leisure, retail and financial services
sectors. It has recovered well from the disruption to its travel customers after
the events of September 11 2001, diversifying its customer base and taking
vigorous action to strengthen its management team. In the year under review, the
division achieved a substantial increase in sales and profits. It regained an
important airline contract, as well as winning other major contracts which will
take the business forward successfully over the next eighteen months.

Wensum Clothing, our men's tailoring business based in Norwich, manufactures own
-label suits, mainly for premium menswear retailers in London. It has lost
ground in the face of overseas competition from Eastern Europe and the Far East.
The division has attempted to sidestep this challenge through broadening its
client base with smaller independent retailers, building its made-to-measure
personal tailoring business and developing the Bladen brand acquired in 2002.
These efforts have not yet been powerful enough to offset the decline in
traditional business and, as announced last September, the loss of a major
contract depressed performance in the second half year and will have an adverse
effect on first-half profits in 2004.



Strategy

The board believes that the best way of delivering shareholder value for the
Wensum group in the long term is to develop the successful outsourcing Wensum
Corporate business, where UK-based flair and know-how are translated into
competitive products which should enable the Company to gain market share.

The Wensum tailoring business is profitable, but production capacity has
exceeded sales and the division's marketing plan has not been fully effective.
The management are now on the way to completing a down-sizing operation in the
Norwich facility. They are exploring manufacturing partnerships overseas and
intensifying efforts to penetrate new markets.

We have considered whether a listing on the UK Listing Authority's Official List
provides the appropriate flexibility for The Wensum Company and liquidity for
our shareholders, having regard to the projected size of the business and our
strategy for the future. In consequence, the board has decided to apply to
transfer the trading of the Company's shares from the Official List to the
Alternative Investment Market ('AIM'). Application has been made for this
transfer, which is expected to become effective on 18 May 2004. Trading on the
Official List will cease on that date.

As a further step towards increasing the group's flexibility, the board
appointed Grant Thornton as auditors in the autumn. Unlike the previous
auditors, who serviced the group from a single office in Cambridge, Grant
Thornton is able to deliver its audit work through separate offices in Gatwick
and Norwich.



Management and Directors

In order to implement the group's strategy, the board decided that Jean
Phillips, who as Managing Director of Wensum Corporate has reshaped that
business with considerable success, should become Chief Executive of the group.
This was announced early in March 2004. I would like to congratulate Jean
Phillips on her appointment.  Andrew Hughes who led the group for many years,
with particular focus on its tailoring business, has left the Company. He
remains a shareholder and we thank him for his commitment and long contribution
to the group.

In view of all these changes and the effects they will have on the shape of the
group, we do not propose to make any immediate appointment of further directors
in accordance with the Higgs guidelines, but will review this at the earliest
practicable opportunity.



Staff

I wish to express the board's gratitude to all our employees for their hard work
and commitment during a year of challenge and change. At Wensum Corporate these
efforts have succeeded in moving the business to a new level of trading. At
Wensum Clothing our workforce has faced up to difficult circumstances with
resilience and loyalty.



Prospects

During the first half year, Wensum Corporate will face a period of transition as
it moves from the delivery of one major contract to the build-up of others.
Sales and profits for the first six months will fall short of 2003, but the
order book for the second six months is strong. Wensum Clothing will have a poor
first six months, as a result of a lower level of trading and down-sizing costs,
but may see some second-half recovery.

In spite of the first-half difficulties, prospects for the full year are
encouraging. The strong second-half performance expected from Wensum Corporate
is likely to recoup any first-half shortfall, and group profits for the year
should be comfortably ahead of 2003/4. Provided this result remains in prospect
and the longer-term outlook remains favourable, the board will continue to
maintain a positive dividend policy.


STUART LYONS
Chairman

19 April 2004





AUDITED PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 JANUARY 2004

                                                                                        2004               2003
                                                                                        £000               £000

 Turnover                                                                             14,101             13,651

Cost of sales                                                                        (8,392)            (8,416)

Gross profit                                                                           5,709              5,235

Distribution costs                                                                   (1,336)            (1,318)

Administrative expenses                                                              (3,584)            (3,190)

Operating profit                                                                         789                727

Net interest receivable                                                                   23                 47

Profit on ordinary activities before tax                                                 812                774

Tax on profit on ordinary activities                                                   (251)              (221)

Profit on ordinary activities after tax                                                  561                553

Dividends                                                                              (484)              (485)

Retained profit for the year                                                              77                 68

Earnings per share  - basic                                                            7.19p              7.05p
-                   - diluted                                                          7.19p              7.05p

Dividends per ordinary share
      - interim                                                                        2.00p              2.00p
      - proposed final                                                                 4.20p              4.20p
                                                                                       6.20p              6.20p

1.   The earnings per share is calculated on profit for the year of £561,152
(2003 - £553,128) and on 7,807,834 (2003 - 7,849,478) ordinary shares, being the
weighted average number of shares in issue during the year.  The diluted
earnings per share is based on profits for the year of £561,152 (2003 -
£553,128) and on 7,809,645 (2003 - 7,850,191) ordinary shares.

2.   A final dividend per ordinary share of 4.20p (2003 - 4.20p) has been
proposed totalling £327,974 (2003 - £327,764).  The interim dividend of 2.00p
was paid to shareholders on 16 October 2003, totalling £156,178 (2003 -
£157,078).

3.   The Annual General Meeting will be held at The Wensum Corporate Company
plc, South Corner, Lowfield Heath, Gatwick on 24 June 2004 commencing at 12
noon.

4.   A full copy of the Report and Financial Statements is available on the
company's website - www.wensum.co.uk.



AUDITED GROUP BALANCE SHEET AT 31 JANUARY 2004
                                                                                           2004              2003
                                                                                           £000              £000
 Fixed assets
    Intangible assets                                                                        99               103
    Tangible assets                                                                       1,937             1,989
                                                                                          2,036             2,092
Current assets
    Stock                                                                                 2,658             2,853
    Debtors                                                                               2,328             2,434
    Cash at bank and in hand                                                              1,569             1,257
                                                                                          6,555             6,544

Creditors: amounts falling due within one year                                            3,051             3,080
                                                                                          _____             _____
Net current assets                                                                        3,504             3,464

Total assets less current liabilities                                                     5,540             5,556

Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one year                                      50              130

Provisions for liabilities and charges
    Deferred tax                                                                              -                 -
                                                                                          5,490             5,426
Capital and reserves
    Called up share capital                                                                 390               391
    Share premium account                                                                   170               180
    Capital redemption reserve                                                                3                 2
    Profit and loss account                                                               4,927             4,853
                                                                                          5,490             5,426


1.        The above audited financial information does not amount to Statutory
Accounts within the meaning of Section 240 of the Companies Act 1985.  The
Statutory Accounts for the period ended 25 January 2003, which include an
unqualified audit report, have been filed with the Registrar of Companies.

2.        The Financial Statements have been prepared on a basis consistent with
the full year Financial Statements to 25 January 2003.  There have been no
changes in accounting policy.

3.        The Annual Report and Financial Statements will be despatched to
shareholders on 26 April 2004 and will be available from that date from the
Company Secretary at the company's registered office, 179 Northumberland Street,
Norwich, NR2 4EE.




AUDITED GROUP CASH FLOW STATEMENT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 JANUARY 2004
                                                                                        2004             2003
                                                                                        £000             £000

Net cash inflow from operating activities                                              1,349              101

Returns on investment and servicing of finance:
    Interest paid                                                                       (11)                -
    Interest received                                                                     39               63
                                                                                          28               63
Taxation:
    UK corporation tax paid                                                            (215)            (206)

Capital expenditure and financial investment:
    Payments to acquire intangible fixed assets                                            -            (103)
    Payments to acquire tangible fixed assets                                          (278)            (134)
    Receipts on disposal of fixed assets                                                   -                2
                                                                                       (278)            (235)

Equity dividends paid                                                                  (484)            (487)

Financing:
    Proceeds from issue of shares                                                          4                -
    Purchase of shares for cancellation                                                 (16)             (24)
    Loan repayment                                                                      (47)                -
    Capital element of finance lease paid                                               (29)                -
                                                                                        (88)             (24)
                                                                                         ___             ____
Increase/(decrease) in cash                                                              312            (788)



                                                                                        2004             2003
                                                                                        £000             £000
Reconciliation of operating profit to net cash inflow from operating
    activities
    Operating profit                                                                     789              727
    Depreciation and amortisation                                                        334              340
    Decrease/(increase) in stocks                                                        195            (575)
    Decrease /(increase) in operating debtors and prepayments                             63            (421)
    (Decrease)/increase in operating creditors and accruals                             (32)               32
    Profit on disposal of fixed assets                                                     -              (2)
                                                                                       1,349              101


Analysis of changes in net funds

                                         25 January                                               31 January
                                               2003          Cash Flow      Other Changes               2004
                                               £000               £000               £000               £000

Cash                                          1,257                312                  -              1,569
Debt due within one year                       (35)                 47               (50)               (38)
Debt due after one year                        (82)                  -                 50               (32)
Finance leases                                 (72)                 29                  -               (43)
                                              1,068                388                  -              1,456




                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange