20 January 2011 – trading statement

The company’s trading performance improved in the final quarter of 2010 and adjusted profit before tax for the year ended 31 December will now be in line with the Board’s expectations. As at 1 January 2011, it had approximately 52% of 2011 planned revenue committed (2010: 55%) and a further 18% of 2011 revenue was at preferred bidder stage. Total committed income stood at £216.8m (2010: £202.9m) and the sales pipeline totalled £289.0m (2010: £223.7m). There is still potential for a bid for the company to be finalised and further announcements will be made as appropriate. This provides the best opportunity for upside in the short term as the level of net debt, which stood at £18.5m at the end of 2010, will increase in the coming months and in the current environment that could cause some jitters. Nevertheless, the Group’s bank facilities total £48m, of which £40m are committed until 2015 and on balance the shares are a HOLD.