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Carpet maker Victoria H1 FY'13 revenues down 4.1%
Nov '13
Victoria PLC, a manufacturer, supplier and distributor of design-led carpets, carpet tiles and other floor coverings, announces the following results for the 26 weeks ended 28 September 2013.


- Group revenue: £34.53m (2012: £35.99m), decreased by 4.1% (1.5% in constant currency terms)

- Group profit before tax and exceptional items: £0.61m (2012: £0.07m loss).

- Net debt has reduced by a further £4.54m from the year end to £2.97m

- Interim dividend of 2.00 pence (2012: 2.00 pence)

- Working capital has reduced by £4.34m from September 2012

The Group’s trading performance in the first half of the current financial year has been satisfactory. A considerable amount of work has been done to remove unnecessary cost from the business and improve the Group’s working capital position, although more remains to be done before the Group starts to deliver acceptable results.

Key financial and operational highlights from the first half include:

- Revenues are 4.1% lower than for the same period last year at £34.53m, although 2.6% of this fall is due to currency movements. Nonetheless, the Group is now focussing on selling product at an acceptable margin, rather than seeking sales at any cost. This will impact top line sales but, in time, should deliver improved profits to the Group.

- Profits (pre-exceptional costs associated with the closure of the Group’s spinning mill at Castlemaine, Australia) have improved from a loss of £0.07m for the same period last year to a profit of £0.61m.

- Net debt has reduced from £7.51m at 30 March 2013 to £2.97m. Despite needing to absorb significant exceptional costs over the last twelve months, net debt shows a substantial improvement from the £8.87m position as at the date the new Board was appointed (3 October 2012), and has been achieved without material asset sales and while maintaining investment where required into key operating assets.

- Colin Campbell & Sons Limited is now wholly-owned, having previously been a 50% associated undertaking. This has been achieved at no cash cost to Victoria (indeed during the period we have received the largest dividend since our involvement) and gives us greater control over the future of this business.

- Stock levels have been reduced, lowering the risk (and resultant expense) of obsolete product and materially improving the Group’s working capital. Cash locked up in stock is ‘dead money’ and this improved stock management position means that growth in the future will consume less capital than previously, allowing funds to either be deployed into productive assets elsewhere in the business or returned to shareholders.

- A new Managing Director has been appointed in Australia and he, together with a talented team, is delivering significant improvements to the Australian subsidiary despite the most challenging market conditions in many years.


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