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Toad PLC (TGP)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Wednesday 04 April, 2001

Toad PLC

Final Results

Toad PLC
4 April 2001

                                    TOAD plc
                             Report and Accounts
                                 53 weeks to
                              DECEMBER 31st 2000

                                PROFITS UP 40%
                               to £2.6 million

                               Launch of ACTRA
                            New Telematics Product
                           Savoy Hotel Presentation

                              Today - April 4th

TOAD plc


I am pleased to present our results for the 53 week period ended 31 December
2000. This was another excellent period of trading for the company, in which
we grew turnover to £33.6 million (52 weeks to December 1999: £31.9 million)
and again achieved a substantial growth in our net profit before tax, which
leapt to £2.6 million (52 weeks to December 1999: £1.8 million). These figures
were achieved in spite of September's unexpected fuel crisis, which severely
affected that month's profit performance.

Toad today is a sound and profitable company with a dynamic management team
that is committed to developing new products and services that will exploit
the company's substantial operational infrastructure. The sales, call centre,
installation and distribution infrastructure has already established Toad as
the UK's number one specialist vehicle audio, security and multi-media company
and over the last five years we have fitted over 1 million cars with a Toad
related product. This gives us the solid foundations from which we can attack
new and rapidly growing sectors such as the potentially huge vehicle
telematics market.

I am delighted to announce that today we are launching the first of our new
telematics products into the market. ACTRA(TM), our active travel system, is a
web-based GPS GSM intelligent vehicle location system that utilises the latest
wireless technology to provide location specific information and services to
the car driver and fleet owner.

The first product in the range is ACTRA(TM) Fleet, providing the fleet manager
with the latest vehicle asset management tools through the internet. This will
be followed in Quarter 3 with the first of our consumer on-board product
range, ACTRA(TM) Touch. All of these will be web-enabled and can be viewed at

This is a substantial new opportunity for the company and as the UK's leading
after-market specialists we plan to invest over £1m in the next two years, to
establish ourselves as a major player in this new and exciting market.

To spearhead our expansion into this growing market Stephen Wheatley replaced
John Lewin as Chief Executive on 28 November 2000. John has done a fantastic
job turning the company into the profitable business it is today and I would
like to thank him for all his hard work over the last three years.

Stephen has been closely involved with Toad over the last 18 months as a
non-executive director and was a founder director of Tracker Network plc until
it was sold in 1999. He is a leading expert in the telematic market.

Stephen has considerable experience in launching new vehicle technology
systems and the directors believe the long term potential value of the
telematics markets, combined with Stephen's ability to leverage our existing
infrastructure and customer base to become a major telematics player, will
outweigh the cost of investing in telematics during 2001 and increase
shareholder value over the long term.

Sir Christopher Evans OBE


I am delighted to give my first report for the company in what has been
another excellent period for Toad. We improved our pre-tax profits by 40% to £
2.6 million during the period, despite the problems that we, along with many
other companies, suffered in September during the unexpected fuel crisis.

As market leader in the vehicle security, audio and multi-media markets, we
have developed an excellent operational infrastructure that is providing us
with the ability to leverage our position as the UK's number one after-market
specialist and develop new markets where we can capitalise on these strengths.


Our mobile installation service to the fleet, insurance and multiple retail
companies continued to consolidate itself as the market leader in this
specialist installation field. Sales remained steady at £14.0 million and we
continue to be the major supplier to almost all of the major insurance and
multiple retail companies in the UK. We had a number of new contract wins
during the year that have reinforced this position and the directors are
confident that the business will show growth during 2001.


Our audio wholesale business, which was re-branded Toad Audio Express in
February 2000, had an excellent period increasing sales by over 23% to £9.0
million. We continue to be the UK's number one audio wholesaler to the
specialist after-market and have excellent relationships with all the UK's
major audio companies. Encouragingly the Toad Audio Express team sold over £
0.5 million of the new Toad multi-media range during the period and expect
this to grow during 2001.


2000 was a difficult year for our Vehicle Technology Division (VTD). The
underlying vehicle alarm business is performing well but due to the ending of
our relationship with Laserline Italy towards the end of the year, and the
impact of the fuel crisis on consumer spending in September, our vehicle alarm
sales decreased by 6.5% in the period to £9.5 million. The negative impact of
the dollar exchange rate on our TOAD and Sigma alarm ranges depressed margins
in November and December.

To grow the business in 2001 we have appointed a new Divisional Director to
head up the VTD business and replaced the Laserline brand, which had become
our weakest UK brand, with a new ground breaking vehicle security product.

Mike Beagrie was appointed as the Divisional Director of the Toad VTD in
October 2000. Mike joined us from a major UK car alarm competitor, where he
was UK Sales Director. He has a wealth of experience in the vehicle
after-market sector and will help to drive the divisions sales forward during

During March 2001 we announced an innovative new partnership with Max Power,
one of the UK's leading motoring magazines, published by EMAP. Max Power's
target audience is the younger male car owner with a high disposable income
that is mainly spent on his car. We have launched a Max Power branded range of
premium alarm systems that will be supported by a year's advertising campaign
by Max Power. The high impact advertising and point-of-sale campaign is aimed
at the two million male car owners who read Max Power and the directors are
confident that the product will succeed in opening up a new sector of the
market for the company and provide up to £1 million of sales in the first

The directors believe that these measures will show positive results for
Toad's Vehicle Technology Division in the year 2001.


In April 2000 we launched our new mobile multi-media range of in-car screens,
video, DVD players. The launch, through our existing sales and distribution
network was extremely successful, generating over £0.7 million of revenue in
the period and in June 2000 our portable in-car Video Traveller won the Auto
Express 'Car Accessory of the Year' award, reinforcing the new brand's
position in the market.

We currently have 9 multi-media products in the range and we're gaining
distribution in the franchise motor dealers and multiple retailers that the
directors believe will have a significant impact on sales in 2001.


In April 2000 we launched our new e-commerce operation, an
interactive web proposition with secure on-line ordering, a nationwide
installation service, news, magazine features, chat rooms, competitions and
information on the latest products such as multi-media, navigation and digital

As the after-market specialist in the audio, security and multi-media sector,
the site has enabled us to capitalise on the needs of the motoring e-commerce
companies who require high quality warehouse, fulfilment and national 'at
home' installation services.

During the period our e-commerce operation turned over approximately £0.4
million and we now have contracts with many of the major internet car
retailing sites and motoring services portals. We will continue to develop
this new market in 2001.


In August we launched our investor relations website designed to keep
shareholders and prospective shareholders up to date on Toad. The site gives
details on the company, the directors, news and press releases and the latest
share price. You can visit the site at


During the period we took a controlling interest in Integrated Technologies
(International) Limited (ITI), a start up company developing and distributing
audio interface cables that link after-market CD and MD changers, such as Sony
and Kenwood, to car manufacturers radio head units. These cables not only
improve the choice available to the car owner but also reduce the price of
upgrading a car entertainment system to play CD or mini-disc.

Like most start ups, ITI made a small loss during the period, but we are
encouraged by its performance to date and the directors believe the business
will generate profits during 2001. This profitability will be enhanced by the
acquisition, in December 2000, of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for
several of the audio interface cables, for £110,000.

During the period we invested £294,000 in ITI, in addition to the IPR
investment, and anticipate no further investment during 2001.


The marketing alliance with Autoglass in the UK continues to provide
operational benefits in our insurance audio replacement business and we
continue to work with Autoglass on developing new business opportunities.

We have spent the last 18 months developing a relationship with Carglass S.A.
with a view to launching an audio and security based installation service in
Paris. However with Toad focussing on the development of its telematics
business in the UK, we have postponed the launch of the service in Paris and
the two companies will meet during April to discuss the option of a joint
French telematic venture.


In November 2000 we announced the launch of our new telematics division and
that we were developing a range of products and services for the new emerging
telematics market. This is an extremely exciting market, which has huge
potential growth over the next ten years, and as the vehicle after-market
specialist, the directors believe Toad is perfectly placed to exploit the
potential of telematics in the after-market.

I am delighted therefore to announce the launch of our new ACTRA(TM) Fleet
telematics product. Based on our new compact ACTRA(TM) GPS GSM vehicle location
unit, ACTRA(TM) Fleet provides the fleet manager with a unique fleet management
package of asset tracking and reporting tools that feature our new FFS(TM) 
'Flexible Functionality System' enabling the fleet manager to manage his fleet
of vehicles through the web environment.

This will be the first product in the ACTRA(TM) range and will be followed by
our first consumer product, ACTRA(TM) Touch, in Quarter 3 and a next generation
PDA based system, ACTRA(TM) Pro-V, in Quarter 4.

The directors believe this market offers tremendous potential future value for
Toad because the ACTRA(TM) product range will be sold through our extensive
distribution network and utilise our existing call centre and national mobile
installation network.

Over the next two years we will be investing £1 million in the ACTRA(TM) range
of products and services.

The 'Spacetrac' system being developed by Eagle Eye Tech. in America is at
advanced prototype stage and Eagle Eye Tech. have recently raised additional
funding of over US $4 million to take the system through to manufacture. We
are told that discussions are now taking place with a major satellite
conglomerate regarding the use of their LEO satellite network for data

In its current format the product has excellent potential for the stolen
vehicle and container tracking market but it also has the potential to be an
alternative telematics gateway unit for our new ACTRA(TM) range of products and


Trading within the group up to March is in-line with our budget forecasts and
although the negative dollar exchange rate, the ending of our relationship
with Laserline Italy and launch of ACTRA(TM) will have an impact on our 2001
figures, we expect the investment in telematics, new multi-media products and
the launch of the new Max Power product will provide a more profitable
business in the long term. The directors are convinced that ACTRA(TM) will make
us a major player in the vehicle telematics after-market, dramatically
increasing shareholder value.


Since becoming Chief Executive in November 2000 I have been impressed by the
commitment and motivation of all the staff in the company. The team at Toad is
an excellent one, who have done a terrific job over the year and I am looking
forward to working with them during 2001.

Stephen Wheatley
Chief Executive


                                                   53 weeks    52 weeks
                                                      ended       ended
                                                31 December  22 December
                                                       2000         1999
                                                      £'000        £'000        

TURNOVER                                             33,557       31,939

COST OF SALES                                      (18,893)     (18,408)
                                                    ------       ------
GROSS PROFIT                                         14,664       13,531
Other operating expenses                           (11,390)     (10,985)
                                                    ------       ------
OPERATING PROFIT                                      3,274        2,546
Profit on disposal of fixed assets                        -           12
Interest receivable and similar income                    -            3
Interest payable and similar charges                  (704)        (729)
                                                     ------       ------
BEFORE TAXATION                                       2,570        1,832
Taxation                                              (140)          125
                                                     ------       ------
AFTER TAXATION                                        2,430        1,957

Minority interests                                       43            -
                                                     ------       ------
TO MEMBERS OF THE PARENT COMPANY                      2,473        1,957
                                                     ------       ------

Earnings per share - basic                            3.58p        3.01p        
                   - diluted                          3.26p        2.63p


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.


                                                 Group                  Company
                              31 December  22 December 31 December  22 December
                                     2000         1999        2000         1999
                                    £'000        £'000       £'000        £'000

Intangible assets                   1,479        1,452         730          730
Tangible assets                     2,726        2,825           -            -
Investments                             -            -      16,340       16,339
                                   ------       ------      ------       ------
                                    4,205        4,277      17,070       17,069
                                   ------       ------      ------       ------

Stocks                              4,229        3,772           -            -
Debtors                             7,356        5,271       8,666        9,782
Cash at bank and in hand            1,972        1,658           -            -
                                   ------       ------      ------       ------
                                   13,557       10,701       8,666        9,782
CREDITORS: amounts falling due
 within one year                 (12,004)      (9,261)     (4,318)      (2,849)
                                   ------       ------      ------       ------
NET CURRENT ASSETS                  1,553        1,440       4,348        6,933
                                   ------       ------      ------       ------
LIABILITIES                         5,758        5,717      21,418       24,002

CREDITORS: amounts falling due
 after more than one year         (1,162)      (3,615)     (1,009)      (3,417)

Minority Interests - equity            43            -           -            -
                                   ------       ------      ------       ------
Net assets                          4,639        2,102      20,409       20,585
                                   ------       ------      ------       ------

Called up share capital             7,499        6,876       7,499        6,876
Share premium account              11,353       10,450      11,353       10,450
Share capital to be issued          1,189        2,651       1,189        2,651
Merger reserve                          -            -       1,001        1,001
Profit and loss account          (15,402)     (17,875)       (633)        (393)
                                   ------       ------      ------       ------
Equity                              3,860        1,323      19,630       19,806
Non-equity                            779          779         779          779

                                    4,639        2,102      20,409       20,585
                                   ------       ------      ------       ------


                                                         53 weeks      52 weeks
                                                            ended         ended
                                                      31 December   22 December
                                                             2000          1999
                                                            £'000         £'000 
NET CASH INFLOW FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES                     525         2,299
                                                           ------        ------
Finance arrangement fees                                        -         (253)
Interest received                                               -             3
Interest paid                                               (669)         (682)
Interest paid on finance leases                              (12)          (22)
                                                           ------        ------
                                                            (681)         (954)
                                                           ------        ------
UK corporation tax paid                                      (33)         (157)
                                                           ------        ------
Purchase of intangible fixed assets                         (110)             -
Purchase of tangible fixed assets                           (254)         (780)
Sale of tangible fixed assets                                  63           354
                                                           ------        ------
                                                            (301)         (426)
                                                           ------        ------
Purchase of subsidiary undertakings                           (1)       (2,590)
Purchase of Foxguard and Code businesses                        -         (331)
                                                           ------        ------
                                                              (1)       (2,921)
                                                           ------        ------
CASH OUTFLOW BEFORE FINANCING                               (491)       (2,159)
                                                           ------        ------
Issue of shares                                               26           795
Movement in short term borrowings                            358         1,059
Movement in long term borrowings                         (2,408)         2,406
Repayment of principal under finance leases                 (90)         (142)
                                                          ------        ------
                                                         (2,114)         4,118
                                                          ------        ------

(DECREASE)/INCREASE IN CASH IN THE PERIOD                (2,605)         1,959
                                                          ------         ------

Issued by TOAD plc

Further Information from Tony Edwards
TEL 01932 336161
FAX 01932 336131
Mobile 041-002 5957


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