12 March 2012 – final results

Results for 2011 have been released, although these are somewhat clouded by a non-recurring charge of £3.4m relating to historic trading of Sumus sub-group and network re-organisations.  This saw a basic loss per share of 1.92p versus earnings of 1.14p a year earlier.  Before non-recurring operating expenses basic earnings per share jumped from 0.30p to 0.72p.

The strong balance sheet, with net cash of £11.0m, is clearly very appealing, as is the dividend payout.  The final dividend was 0.27p (2010: 0.24p), taking the total for the year to 0.40p (2010: 0.36p).  However, the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review is on the horizon and that brings significant uncertainty.  We rate the shares as a HOLD.