18 May 2012 – interim management statement

The group has issued a disappointing trading statement this morning, confirming that trading conditions remain very challenging with significant overcapacity in the industry and high inventory levels combining to maintain pressure on silicon wafer prices.  The group has been unable to agree prices with some customers and shipment volumes are therefore expected to be lower than expected as a result.  Production levels have been reduced and a cost reduction programme is also under way.  However, on the positive side, the group has received compensation of around €90m for the termination of a long term contract and this should be received in H1 2012.  To put this in perspective, at the last year end in December 2011, the group had net cash of €22.6m and, even after today’s share price rise, it is still only capitalised at around £40m.  The shares remain a HOLD.