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Toad PLC (TGP)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Thursday 02 March, 2000

Toad PLC

Final Results - Year Ended 22 December 1999

Toad PLC
2 March 2000


Toad triples profits and goes online.

*    Profit more than threefold up to £2 million
*  new e-commerce and WAP enabled
     business launching April
*    IBM contract signed for new technology installation
*    National Car Parks trial project announced
*    'Spacetrac' contract extended to include the
     European container market
*    Three new board appointments

Enquiries :    John Lewin, Chief Executive
               0181 710 4016

               Anthony Edwards
               Anthony Edwards Publicity
               01932 336161


1999 was an excellent year for Toad with net profits more
than threefold up to £2 million (38 weeks to December
1998: £0.4 million) and turnover increased to £32 million
(38 weeks to December 1998: £25 million). This was
achieved despite the delayed impact of the restructuring
that took place when we acquired Sextons in 1998 and the
subsequent disposal of approximately £6 million of loss
making operations. The company continued to improve its
gross margin performance to 42.4% (38 weeks to December
1998: 40.8%).

Innovation has always been an important part of our
strategy and our ability to introduce new ideas that meet
the ever-changing needs of an evolving market is vital to
the continued success of Toad. Our aim is to always be one
step ahead of the competition and we believe this is
reflected in the three main areas of our business -
vehicle security (Toad VTD), audio wholesale (Toad Audio
Express) and corporate installation services (Toad
Innovations). All have reinforced their positions as
market leaders in their individual market sectors and are
well placed to develop their business during 2000.

During the year we reorganised our vehicle security brands
under the Vehicle Technology Division (VTD) name and
located all their sales and operations staff into Runcorn.
This was successfully completed in September and has
increased the efficiency of the vehicle security operation
in its ability to service the car manufacturers and over
1000 specialist dealers.

Our three major security brands were revamped during the
year and a range of new advanced microprocessor controlled
alarm systems was launched into the UK market during
January and February 2000. We continue to develop
relationships with the major car manufacturers and have
supply and development contracts with companies such as
Subaru, Isuzu, London Taxi International, Daewoo, Renault
(GB) and Kawasaki (GB).

Our audio wholesale business was re-branded Toad Audio
Express and re-launched to the trade in June. Although
there were price pressures in the audio wholesale market
during the year, the directors believe this will be
compensated by our decision to expand our wholesale
services into the vehicle multimedia market. This will
increase the sales and margins in this department as the
group moves into the technology driven sectors of the
market during 2000.

Our decision to develop our technology driven
installation service is beginning to reap rewards for our
corporate services division which provides a mobile
installation service to the fleet market. The
proliferation of new car technology products to provide
telematic information to the vehicle driver has resulted
in the need for a quality installation service to the new
providers of this technology. Our fleet of over 100
mobile engineers provides just such a service and the IBM
and NCP announcements detailed below highlight how well
positioned we are to meet this growing demand.

We are pleased to report that the Autoglass alliance and
the important integration of the Autoglass and Toad
operating systems is now complete. The directors believe
that the alliance's ability to offer a one-stop-shop
integrated service to fleet and insurance companies will
have a more significant impact this year. The business, with its potential for offering
our insurance and fleet partners the benefits of the one-
stop-shop online, could considerably enhance this impact
and is currently being investigated by both parties.

Our expansion into France with Autoglass is scheduled for
summer this year. This will be an extremely cost-effective
method of expanding our operation overseas and the
directors believe this could be an important stepping-
stone in the development of the company.

All of our achievements over the last two years have only
been possible because of our committed and highly
motivated staff. Developing this team, in the short time
since our acquisition of Sextons, has been a key priority
and considerable effort has gone into building a team who
share the same passion, focus and objectives as we do. We
have encouraged every member of staff to contribute their
ideas, however big or small, through our internal staff
ideas scheme - GRIP. In seven months over 250 ideas have
been contributed, improving the way we operate and winning
new business.

April will mark the launch of; our new e-
commerce based business and WAP enabled information
service and is one of the most exciting developments in
our company's history.

As a market leader Toad has always positioned itself at
the forefront of developments in new technology and we
have, of course, had a presence on the web since 1997. We
now progress from being a purely content based web
activity, to a highly interactive web proposition with
secure on-line ordering, a nation-wide installation
service in partnership with our network of over 1000
specialist dealers, news, magazine features, chat rooms,
competitions and information on the latest products such
as multi-media, e-mail on the move, location and tracking
services, navigation and digital audio.

The site will also allow our dealers access to our
industry leading technical database, enabling them to
access technical product and installation details on a
24/7 basis and a B2B order processing capability.

In addition, we will be launching a WAP based information
service offering access to the latest company news,
promotional offers and a location service for the nearest
dealer. provides us with the potential to expand our
service into many new areas and the ability to capitalise
on the needs of companies who require high quality
warehouse, fulfilment and installation services. We are
recognised as the leading service provider in the audio
and security marketplace and we plan to exploit this
through e-based affinity partnerships with some of the
UK's leading companies. Negotiations are currently in
progress with a number of mainstream and .com portal
companies. will be at the cutting edge of web design
and interactivity and will propel Toad into the e-commerce
era. Please visit our site to experience this for


Utilising our in-house design capability, we have created
an innovative computer mounting and installation kit to
securely house the latest computer-based telematic
systems inside a commercial vehicle. This kit, for which
we hold the Intellectual Property Rights, has enabled us
to sign a contract with IBM to install their latest
computer based parcel management system into Parcelforce
Worldwide's 6,000-strong nationwide fleet of collection
and delivery vans - due to be deployed by the end of 2000

National Car Parks

During April we will be expanding the scope of our service
provision activities when we take part in an innovative
trial project being tested by National Car Parks. Full
details of which will be released in April.


Eagle Eye, the product developers have announced that the
US Navy is to fund a $700,000 miniaturisation programme
that will take the development product from its present
paperback book size to the size of a small pack of
cigarettes. This miniaturised version of the product will
be available as a web based location and tracking device
next year and owners of the system will be able to access
the location details from the web using a unique pin

Most importantly we are pleased to announce that we have
been able to negotiate the additional exclusive rights to
sell the 'Spacetrac' product to the European container
and trailer market. The problem with containers and
trailers is that the majority of them have no on board
power supply, so a small self-powered location and
tracking device that would enable a freight manager to
track his containers around the world could open up the
enormous sales potential of this currently unexploited

New Directors

During the year, we strengthened the Board with the
appointment of two new non-executive directors:

Michael Cornwell joined us from Belron International (the
owners of Autoglass and Carglass) where he was their
International Sales Director. He set up the original
Carglass operation in France and has extensive contacts
with all of Europe's major insurance and fleet companies.

Stephen Wheatley was the former sales Director of Tracker
plc and was one of the original team that established
Tracker plc in the UK. He is experienced in launching new
vehicle telematic systems and will advise us on the
development of new vehicle location and telematic systems.

During the year, John Morris and Kevin Gray stood down as
non-executive directors and I would like to thank them for
their contribution over the last few years.

Finally, I would like to thank our Finance Director David
Baynes, who left the company yesterday, for his tremendous
contribution to Toad over the last seven years. David has
been with Toad since the very beginning and his tireless
efforts have helped turn the company around. David has
left the company in the knowledge that it has never been
in a better position since its incorporation. We wish him
well in his future role as Finance Director responsible
for planning the flotation of a start-up company.

David's replacement is Wilson Jennings BA, FCA, who joins
us from Isis Research plc, a multi-national market
research company where he was Finance Director for the
last five years. In addition to the international
experience gained with Isis, Wilson has extensive
corporate finance experience with PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Wilson joined the board yesterday and is an excellent
addition to the team.

Current Trading

Trading within the group during January and February has
been excellent and is ahead of expectations.

Toad now has a solid well-run business that is set to meet
growth expectations over the next two years. The directors
believe that when this core business is combined with the
potential growth opportunities, such as, new
technology fleet installations, 'Spacetrac', NCP and the
Autoglass alliance, we have the potential to exceed this
growth in the year 2001 and beyond.

This is an exciting time for technology businesses and we
plan to take advantage of it.

Dr C T Evans OBE

For the year ended 22 December 1999

                       Before          Year ended  38 weeks to
                     Goodwill Goodwill 22 December 22 December
                      Expense  Expense        1999       1998
                        £'000    £'000       £'000      £'000
-  ongoing             31,590        -     31,590     25,063
-  acquisitions           349        -        349          -
                      -------   ------   --------   --------
                       31,939        -     31,939     25,063
COST OF SALES                                               
-  ongoing            (18,234        -   (18,234)   (14,835)
operations                  )
-  acquisitions         (174)        -      (174)          -
                      -------   ------   --------   --------
GROSS PROFIT           13,531        -     13,531     10,228
Other operating      (10,880)    (105)   (10,985)    (9,283)
                      -------   ------   --------   --------
OPERATING PROFIT                                            
-  ongoing operations   2,476     (25)      2,451        945
-  acquisitions           175     (80)         95          -
                      -------   ------   --------   --------
                        2,651    (105)      2,546        945
Profit/(loss) on                                            
disposal of fixed                              12      (140)

Interest receivable                                         
and similar income                              3          3

Interest payable and                                        
similar charges                             (729)      (376)
                      -------   ------   --------   --------
PROFIT ON ORDINARY                                          
  BEFORE TAXATION                           1,832        432
Taxation                                      125          -
                                         --------   --------
PROFIT FOR THE YEAR                         1,957        432
                                         ========   ========
Earnings per share                          3.01p      0.76p
-  basic
                                            2.63p      0.59p
-  diluted

There are no recognised gains and losses other than those
included in the profit and loss account above, and
accordingly no separate statement of total recognised gains
and losses has been presented.

At 22 December 1999
                                         22        22
                                   December  December
                                       1999      1998
                                      £'000     £'000
FIXED ASSETS                                         
Intangible assets                     1,452       730
Tangible assets                       2,825     2,756
Investments                               -         -
                                   --------  --------
                                      4,277     3,486
                                   --------  --------
CURRENT ASSETS                                       
Stocks                                3,772     4,212
Debtors                               5,271     5,316
Cash at bank and in hand              1,658     1,126
                                   --------  --------
                                     10,701    10,654
CREDITORS:  amounts falling due     (9,261)  (13,921)
within one year
                                   --------  --------
NET CURRENT                           1,440   (3,267)
                                   --------  --------
TOTAL ASSETS LESS CURRENT             5,717       219
CREDITORS:  Amounts falling due                      
after more than one year            (3,615)   (1,214)
                                   --------  --------
NET ASSETS/(LIABILITIES)              2,102     (995)
                                   ========  ========
CAPITAL AND RESERVES                                 
Called up share capital               6,876     5,872
Share premium account                10,450     9,095
Share capital to be issued            2,651     3,743
Profit and loss account            (17,875)  (19,705)
                                   --------  --------
Equity                                1,790     (995)
Non-equity                              312         -
                                   --------  --------
                                      2,102     (995)
                                   ========  ========

For the year ended 22 December 1999
                                Year ended 38 weeks to
                               22 December 22 December
                                      1999       1998
                                     £'000      £'000
NET CASH INFLOW/(OUTFLOW) FROM                       
OPERATING ACTIVITIES                 2,299    (1,130)
                                  --------   --------
RETURNS ON INVESTMENTS AND                           
SERVICING OF FINANCE                                 
Finance arrangements fees            (253)          -
Interest received                        3          3
Interest paid                        (682)      (367)
Interest paid on finance leases       (22)        (9)
                                  --------   --------
                                     (954)      (373)
                                  --------   --------
UK corporation tax paid              (157)          -
                                  --------   --------
CAPITAL EXPENDITURE                                  
Purchase of tangible fixed           (780)      (187)
Sale of tangible fixed assets          354        281
                                  --------   --------
                                     (426)         94
                                  --------   --------
Purchase of subsidiary             (2,590)    (6,049)
Purchase of Foxguard and Code        (331)      (488)
Net cash acquired with                               
acquisitions of subsidiary               -        204
Net cash transferred with sale           -       (20)
of subsidiary
                                  --------   --------
                                   (2,921)    (6,353)
                                  --------   --------
CASH OUTFLOW BEFORE FINANCING      (2,159)    (7,762)
                                  --------   --------
Issue of shares                        795      6,385
Movement in short term               1,059      (509)
Movement in long term                2,406      (325)
Repayment of principal under         (142)       (17)
finance leases
                                  --------   --------
                                     4,118      5,534
                                  --------   --------
INCREASE/(DECREASE) IN CASH IN       1,959    (2,228)
                                  ========   ========
Notes :

1.   Earnings per share

     The calculation of basic earnings per share is based
     on the profit on ordinary activities after taxation,
     namely £1,957,000 (22 Dec 1998: £432,000) and on
     65,102,023 (22 Dec 1998: 57,166,287) ordinary
     shares, being the weighted average number of
     ordinary shares in issue and ranking for dividend
     during the year.
     The diluted earnings per share is calculated under
     the provisions laid out in FRS14 and is based on the
     profit for the period of £1,957,000 (22 Dec 1998:
     £432,000), and on 74,390,501 (22 Dec 1998:
     73,197,909) ordinary shares, calculated as follows:
                                        22        22
                                  December  December
                                      1999      1998
                                     £'000     £'000
Basic weighted average number       65,102    57,166
of shares
Dilutive potential ordinary                         
shares :
Shares to be issued                  6,131    15,605
Employee share options                 632       427
Convertible redeemable               2,526         -
preference shares                 --------  --------
                                    74,391    73,198
                                  --------  --------
2.   Dividends

     The directors do not recommend the payment of a
3.   Tax

                            Year ended  38 weeks to
                           22 December  22 December
                                  1999         1998
                                 £'000        £'000
Corporation tax:                                   
Current                             82            -
Overprovision in prior           (207)            -
                              --------     --------
                                 (125)            -
                              --------     --------

    Subject to agreement with the Inspector of Taxes,
    the group has tax losses of approximately £8,000,000
    (22 Dec 1998: £9,000,000) to carry forward against
    future taxable profits.

4.   Mr Wilson Jennings has been appointed a director of
     Toad plc with effect from today.  No further information
     falls to be disclosed pursuant to paragraph 16.4 of the
     Listing Rules.

5.   These preliminary results are based upon the audited
     financial statements of Toad plc for the year ended 22
     December 1999.


a d v e r t i s e m e n t