14 February 2011 – trading update

The group has concluded its investigation into the malpractices at its Offshore division and has confirmed that it is seeking damages from two former directors of the business through the Scottish courts.  The total exceptional and special charges relating to this matter are now likely to be around £7m, whilst the group is also considering writing off goodwill and other intangible assets to the tune of £10m.  It should be noted that the latter is a non-cash charge.  The group has confirmed that it is continuing with discussions to sell its marine business, whilst it is also in talks with its banks to increase its borrowing facilities.  Finally, Cosalt has decided that now would be a good time to change its year end to 31 December and results for the 14 month period to that date will be published before the end of April.  In view of the continuing uncertainties surrounding the group, we have reduced our recommendation to HOLD.