News Column

UPDATE: Nature Group Reports Strong Full-Year, Swings To Pretax Loss On Goodwill

May 8, 2014

Alice Attwood

LONDON (Alliance News) - Nature Group PLC Thursday reported a GBP10.7 million pretax loss due to a GBP12.9 million goodwill write off associated with its merger with International Slop Disposal B.V., however, excluding this cost, full-year revenues rose 52% and underlying pretax profit more than doubled as its divisions made good progress, despite facing changes in legislation and delays in bringing its Gibraltar operations back online.

The port reception and waste treatment services firm said revenues in the year to December 31, 2013 increased 52% to GBP21.8 million from GBP14.3 million last year. Underlying pretax profit for the year more than doubled to GBP1.3 million from GBP470,000 last year.

A GBP12.9 million goodwill created when Nature Group merged with International Slop Disposal in 2010 hit the firm's balance sheet, with the firm swinging to a pretax loss of GBP10.7 million including the charge, from a GBP231,342 profit last year.

However, the firm said that following consultation with its creditors and the board, it decided to write off the goodwill as the large item "did not reflect real intrinsic value and somewhat distorted the true net asset value of the company."

The company proposed a final dividend of 0.28 pence per share for 2013, compared to no dividend payment for 2012.

In its Maritime division, Nature Group said it maintained market share of the maritime liquid waste business in Gibraltar despite the lack of its own onshore facility. Also, following negotiations during the year, the firm reached a GBP1.35 million insurance settlement in March to cover material damage and business interruption following an accident in Gibraltar, recognised as a post balance sheet event, said the firm.

In the Oil & Gas sector, the firm commissioned five Compact Treatment Units, two of which were sold to a third party, it said. Nature Group also developed a specialist Sludge Treatment Unit during the year, in response to client demand; the second such unit is close to build completion.

In Engineering, the company won a contract to supply a maritime liquid waste treatment plant to the new Port of Sohar in Oman, this is likely to contribute in 2015.

"There have been challenges faced in the Maritime Division as we invested to meet changes in legislation, and delays in bringing operations in Gibraltar back online. However, with planning approval and the resolution of our insurance claim we can now look forward to operations in the future with confidence," said Chairman Neil Sandy.

"We will continue to build the foundations that will allow Nature to grow and prosper in achieving its divisional strategic objectives." added Sandy.

Shares in Nature Group were trading 10.28% higher at 29.5 pence per share Thursday morning, one of the biggest gainers on the AIM All-Share market.

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Source: Alliance News

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