3 June 2010 – preliminary results

The specialist foils and packaging materials group has seen a strong rebound in operating profit and sales in the second half of the year.   Following difficult trading conditions in the first six months, the group returned a much healthier operating performance in the second half with operating profits for that period of £1.9m following a first half  loss of £1.0m.  The European businesses traded profitably throughout the year; the US business returned to profitability in the second half; and losses were narrowed in Asia Pacific. However, its 51% subsidiary in China continues to report heavy losses and the group reported a non-cash impairment charge of £5.1m (£2.6m after minority interests) for the year.  The Board has now commenced a strategic review of its investment in Shanghai.   Overall, API looks to be on the road to recovery and, on that basis, the shares are a BUY.