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Universe Grp. (UNG)

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Friday 05 December, 2008

Universe Grp.

Trading Statement

RNS Number : 5993J
Universe Group PLC
05 December 2008

Immediate release: 5 December 2008

Universe Group PLC

('Universe' or 'the Company')

Trading Update

Universe Group plc (UNG.L) today provides the following update on its expected full year trading results. 

Full year revenues are expected to increase by 25% to £16.5 million (2007: £13.2 million) with second half revenues 9% ahead of those achieved in the first six months of the year at £8.6 million (H1: £7.9 million). The Company will return to profitability at the operating level, but will fall short of the full year forecast. The operating loss for the first half was (£0.3 million).

Universe has made significant progress during 2008. Whilst revenue growth has been strong, operating profit has been impacted by slower than anticipated equipment roll-outs from the JetSet business (JAV). 

The significant contract wins secured by JAV underpinned our forecasts for the full year. However, the recent banking crisis resulted in the sudden and unexpected withdrawal of previously agreed asset-backed sources for JAV. As a result of this withdrawal, Universe did not have sufficient internally generated funding to meet the rapid deployment schedule of the new JAV revenue share business, on which its full year forecasts were based. 

Equipment roll-outs are continuing and JAV expects to have 700 installed units, versus the 1000 units previously forecast, by the end of December 2008, with further roll-outs in 2009. The Board believes that the revenue share model will deliver strong income streams over future periods.

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Universe Group PLC

Arbuthnot Securities

Nominated Adviser

Tavistock Communications

John Scholes, Chairman

Paul Cooper, Chief Executive

Tom Griffiths

John West

Andrew Dunn

Tel: 02380 689510

Tel: 0207 012 2000

Tel: 020 7920 3150

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