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API Group PLC announces Final Results

API Group PLC announces Final Results  STOCKPORT, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 06/04/14 --  *T  Press Release                                         4 June 2014  API Group plc  ("API" or the "Group")  Final Results  API Group plc (AIM: API), a leading manufacturer of specialist foils and packaging materials, announces its final results for the year ended 31 March 2014.  Financial Highlights  * Revenues ahead by GBP2.3m (2.0%) to GBP114.7m (2013: GBP112.4m).  * Profit before tax unchanged at GBP5.6m (2013: GBP5.6m). Profit   before tax of GBP6.3m on a pre-exceptional basis (2013: GBP6.6m).  * Stronger second half, with pre-exceptional profit before tax ahead   by GBP0.5m (+15%).  * Diluted earnings per share 7.1p (2013: 7.2p). Excluding exceptional   items, diluted earnings per share 7.8p (2013: 8.4p).  * Proposed final dividend of 1.3p per share, making 2.0p for the   full year (2013: 0.0p).  * Cash flow from operations of GBP9.0m (2013: GBP8.6m), converted at   91% of EBITDA (2013: 86%) and a net cash inflow of GBP2.8m   (2013: GBP1.2m).  * GBP0.2m net cash at year end (2013: net debt of GBP2.6m), the   first time for 15 years that the Group has reported a net cash   position.  Operational Highlights  * Another good performance from Laminates and further progress at   Foils Europe. Holographics back to breakeven in final quarter   after cost reduction measures. Operating margin maintained at   Foils Americas despite weaker sales in the second half.  * Laminates major new supply contract fully on stream during second   half.  * Restructuring of UK foils operations completed; new distribution   facility established in Sheffield, leaving Livingston to   concentrate on manufacturing.  * New ERP solution successfully implemented by Foils Americas;   roll-out in Foils Europe scheduled for 2014.  * Capital additions and joint venture investment of GBP3.8m (2013:   GBP5.5m), including down payments on new metallising equipment   for UK and US foils plants.  Commenting on the results, Andrew Turner, Group Chief Executive of API Group plc, said:"In spite of a slightly weaker profit performance, these results demonstrate further strengthening of the Group's financial position, combined with continued substantial investment in the operating assets of the business. The year-end net cash balance and the re-introduction of a dividend after a break of more than ten years, represent important milestones in the rehabilitation of the Group.  Operational improvement and investment initiatives already completed, as well as further projects planned for the new financial year, are expected to strengthen API's position in its key markets and enhance prospects for future sales and profit growth."             - Ends -  For further information:  API Group plc Andrew Turner, Group Chief Executive      Tel: +44 (0) 1625 650 334 Chris Smith, Group Finance Director                www.apigroup.com  Numis Securities (Broker) James Serjeant                            Tel: +44 (0) 20 7260 1000  www.numis.com  Cairn Financial Advisers (Nominated Adviser) Tony Rawlinson / Avi Robinson              Tel: +44 (0) 20 7148 7900  www.cairnfin.com  Media enquiries:  Abchurch Henry Harrison-Topham / Quincy Allan       Tel: +44 (0) 20 7398 7710 quincy.allan@abchurch-group.com               www.abchurch-group.com  CEO Review  Overall financial results  Group revenues for the twelve months to March 2014 increased by 2.0%, at both actual and constant FX rates, to GBP114.7m (2013: GBP112.4m). Sales volumes were higher by 2.7%, with second half volumes up 7.1% on the prior year compensating for a small decline in the first six months.  In spite of the higher sales levels, added value margin declined slightly due to sales mix between the business units, the impact of less favourable exchange rates and higher levels of production scrap at Laminates. This, together with slightly higher variable costs, more than offset the contribution from higher sales to leave pre-exceptional operating profits down by 4.8% at GBP7.4m (2013: GBP7.8m). Operating margin was also lower, by 0.4%, at 6.5%.  At segment level, full year profits advanced at Laminates (GBP0.2m) and Foils Europe (GBP0.1m) on the back of stronger volumes. Holographics losses increased by GBP0.4m, due to lower external sales, and Foils Americas profits declined by GBP0.2m, due to lower activity in the last quarter.  In a reversal of the pattern experienced in the last two years and as anticipated in our interim results statement, profitability improved significantly in the second half; up GBP0.5m (+15%) on the first half. Progress at Foils Europe (+GBP0.3m) and reduced losses at Holographics (+GBP0.4m), as a result of cost reduction measures, more than compensated for the weaker second half at Foils Americas (-GBP0.4m). Operating margin for the second half improved to 6.9% compared to 6.1% in the first half.  For the year as a whole, profit before tax was unchanged, at GBP5.6m; although a small tax charge led to a marginal fall in diluted earnings per share to 7.1p (2013:7.2p).  Exceptional costs of GBP0.7m (2013: GBP1.0m) have been separately disclosed and relate to one-off costs and expenses associated with organisational change in three business units. Interest costs, including the new IAS19 pension interest charge, were GBP0.1m lower at GBP1.1m (2013:GBP1.2m). On a pre-exceptional basis, profit before tax was 4.5% lower at GBP6.3m (2013: 6.6m) and diluted earnings per share were 7.8p,compared to 8.4p for the prior year.  Cash from operations, post exceptional items, converted at 91% of EBITDA (2013: 86%), with a net cash inflow of GBP2.8m compared to GBP1.2m for the previous year. Whilst cash capital expenditure of GBP3.5m was lower than the previous year (2013: GBP5.3m) capital additions still represented 1.4 times depreciation and will remain above depreciation for at least another two years as additional capacity is introduced into the Foils businesses. The Group completed its investment in the Czech Joint Venture after a further GBP0.5m transfer of funds on top of the GBP0.4m paid last year. With working capital broadly unchanged, the Group reported a small net cash position at the financial year end of GBP0.2m (2013: GBP2.6m debt).  Dividend  Following payment of the interim dividend in January, the Board is pleased to propose a final dividend of 1.3p per share. The total, full-year dividend of 2.0p will be put to shareholders for approval at the Annual General Meeting on July 15th and subject to this approval, it is our intention that the final dividend will be paid on August 1st to shareholders on the register as at July 11th, with an ex-dividend date of Wednesday July 9th.  Outlook  The Board expects a continuation of the second half trading momentum, with progression in results for the first half and for the financial year as a whole.  At this stage, it is unclear how long Foils Americas will be affected by the reduced demand from metallic pigment customers, but any impact on the Group's results should be more than compensated by the elimination of trading losses at Holographics and the benefit of last year's restructuring at Foils Europe.  In respect of general market conditions, Foils Europe continues to experience steady overall demand, whereas recent activity in the decorative foils market in North America appears somewhat slower than usual. At Laminates, the new financial year has started strongly and there is a good pipeline of new business development projects.  Management is pressing ahead with its operational improvement and growth agenda, including the roll-out of the Group's new ERP platform and investments in additional capacity for the Foils businesses. These initiatives will strengthen API's ability to service customers in key markets and enhance the Group's prospects over the medium term.  Click on, or paste the following link into your web browser, to view the associated PDF document:  http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/7728I_1-2014-6-3.pdf  This information is provided by RNS  The company news service from the London Stock Exchange  END          Contacts: RNS Customer Services 0044-207797-4400 rns@londonstockexchange.com http://www.rns.com    
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