15 April 2010 – acquisition/trading update

The group, our Share of the Year, has announced the acquisition of Data Sound Limited (DS) for £2.8m in cash.  DS is a specialist Health And Safety consultancy and the acquisition is expected to be materially earnings enhancing.  The purchase of DS is part of the group’s long term strategy to create a leading integrated facilities management and building services business in the UK.  Recent acquisitions have been successfully integrated and current trading is meeting management’s expectations, although the year to 31 March 2010 will show that the group made a substantial loss due to the closure of loss-making businesses and restructuring costs.  Following the acquisition of DS, the group is likely to acquire further operations in the areas of legal compliance as these tend to be resilient even in a downturn as their services are always in demand.  Although so far the shares have been very disappointing as they were tipped at 8.5p at the start of the year, we remain very optimistic about prospects and the shares remain a BUY.