News Column

William Sinclair Expects Underlying Net Loss, Scraps Interim Dividend

May 20, 2014

Samuel Agini

LONDON (Alliance News) - William Sinclair Holdings PLC Tuesday said it will report a significant underlying net loss for the year ending September 30 and said it intends to scrap its interim dividend, after a weak trading performance resulted in higher-than-expected net debt.

Shares were Tuesday quoted at 72.00 pence, down 39.50 pence, meaning William Sinclair has lost more than a third of its value since issuing its trading update.

In a statement, William Sinclair, which produces horticulture products for garden centres and other customers, said sales to both retail and professional customers have disappointed. Margins also disappointed, but to a lesser extent. On the basis of underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, William Sinclair expects to "broadly" break-even.

"Whilst order intake and sales early in the season were encouraging, the extent of the growth in revenues compared to the prior year that had been anticipated to result from a return of more normal weather patterns did not fully meet expectations," William Sinclair said in a statement.

"Whilst large cash inflows are awaited in respect of the claim against Natural England, no settlement of this claim is expected before a court decision later this Autumn, with any award not likely to be paid before the end of the calendar year," William Sinclair said.

William Sinclair said it still has the support of its lenders.

William Sinclair said it has already recognised the need to refresh its brands and sales organisation.

On May 12, new Commercial Director Richard Carr was appointed, and will be responsible for all of William Sinclair's retail, professional and industrial sales when he joins at the beginning of June. Last year, the company appointed Peter Rush as its new chief executive officer.

In 2013, William Sinclair's interim dividend was 1.5 pence a share.

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Source: Alliance News

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