Vitesse Media PLC (AIM:VIS) FINAL RESULTS & Directorate Chg, Hldgs in Co, Proposed Fundraising

Vitesse Media plc (“Vitesse”, the “Company” or the “Group”) announces its audited final results for the 14-month period ended 31 March 2017 (the “14-month period”), the Company’s new financial year end. References in this announcement to the preceding period, being the year ended 31 January 2016, are to the “prior year”.

FINAL RESULTS

Highlights

·     Total Normalised Revenue* increased by 26% in the 14-month period to £2,688k (prior year: £2,130k)

·     Events revenue in the 14-month period increased by 45% to £1,263k (prior year: £870k)              

·     Gross profit margin in the 14-month period reduced to 65% from 70% in the prior year due to higher revenue in the Events division, which generally has slightly lower margins than the traditional media mix of business in Vitesse

·     Operating loss before non-recurring costs** in the 14-month period increased to £12k (prior year: £7k)

·     The Group’s balance sheet has improved over the 14-month period with a strong improvement in cash from operations compared to the position at the prior year end resulting in an underlying reduction in payables and loans 

·     An impairment of assets has been made during the 14-month period which included the Group’s discontinued crowdfunding project, some of the Group’s websites (prior to their relaunch) and paper stock.

Total Normalised Revenue comprises total revenue less non-recurring costs

** Non-recurring costs mainly comprise the impairment of the Group’s discontinued crowdfunding project; the impairment of some of the Group’s websites (prior to their relaunch); and the write-off of paper stock for the Group’s printed magazines

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

Overview of Results

In addition to changing the Company’s financial year end, by extending the period by two months to 31 March 2017, we have separately identified non-recurring costs in the income statement thereby seeking to increase transparency.  Overall, we have been building on the prior year’s success, in particular by launching new events, whilst relaunching all of our websites, which has increased traffic across our sites.

The Board is not recommending payment of a dividend.

Commentary on results

Revenue

The increase in the Group’s revenue in the 14-month period compared to the prior year is almost entirely due to the continued focus on, and success of, the Group’s Events division. This included positive inaugural events for British Small Business and Tech Leaders Summit together with the continuing success of Women in IT and Investor All Stars.  The media business remained relatively flat with a small increase in both lead generation and subscription revenues.

Cost of Sales

Cost of sales in the 14-month period have increased mainly due to the success of the Group’s events held throughout the period, including the launch of new events to continue the Group’s expansion of this division.

Admin Expenses

During the 14-month period, our admin expenses have included a number of non-recurring costs. Taking this into account, while the pro-rated Admin expenses are up compared to the prior year, as a percentage of revenue they are lower than in the prior year, which we anticipate will be a continuing trend.

Non-Recurring Costs

There were sizeable £176k of non-recurring costs included in admin expenses for the 14-month period. The main components were: the impairment of the Group’s discontinued crowdfunding project; the impairment of some of the Group’s websites (prior to their relaunch); and the write-off of paper stock for the Group’s printed magazines.

The operating loss for the 14-month period was £188,462 (prior year: £195,481).

Current Trading

Trading in the current year to date is in line with the Board’s expectations. The Board’s strategy has been to focus the Group’s resources on the Events division where it sees more opportunities. We intend to continue with this strategy, whilst at the same time we intend to invest in our media businesses, which we believe will improve the Group’s performance in what is a changing market.

The business is in a much stronger position than it has been for some time and the Board is confident this will be reflected in the Group’s trading performance in the year ahead. 

Notice of AGM and publication of Annual Report

The Company’s Annual General Meeting is due to be held on 26 September 2017 at 10.00am at the offices of Stephenson Harwood LLP, 1 Finsbury Circus, London EC2R 7SH. The notice of meeting together with the Annual Report & Accounts will be dispatched to shareholders in due course and will be available on the Company’s website at www.vitessemedia.com when published.

A copy of this announcement will be posted today on the Company’s website. www.vitessemedia.com

 

Directorate Chg, Hldgs in Co, Proposed Fundraising

RNS Number : 7917N
Vitesse Media PLC
11 August 2017

Vitesse Media Plc, the AIM-listed digital media and events business, announces that Simon Stilwell has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Company with immediate effect. As a consequence, Niki Baker, formerly Chief Executive Officer, has been appointed as Managing Director, Events/Marketing of the Company with immediate effect to focus on expanding the Company’s flourishing events business.

Simon was until 2015 Chief Executive of Liberum, the Investment Bank that he co-founded in 2007 and grew from a start up to £55m of revenue and 170 people in seven profitable years. Prior to Liberum, he served as Head of Sales, Small Companies, at Collins Stewart plc and was also a director at Beeson Gregory Limited. He was commissioned into the Gloucestershire Regiment in 1992 and served in a variety of countries and roles before starting his City career in 1996. Simon graduated with a BSc in Geological Sciences from Durham University. Since leaving Liberum, Simon has pursued a number of different business interests.

The Company has been notified that earlier today, Simon Stilwell and Anthony Cross have each acquired 6,373,799 and 7,013,799 existing ordinary shares of 1 penny each in the Company (“Ordinary Shares”) respectively, at 2.5 pence per Ordinary Share. Simon Stilwell and Anthony Cross’ resulting holdings are 7,013,799 and 7,013,799 Ordinary Shares respectively, each representing approximately 10.9 per cent. of the Company’s issued share capital.

Anthony Cross has worked in fund management for 27 years and for the last 20 years has successfully managed a range of funds for Liontrust Asset Management. This investment is being made in a personal capacity and he has no role within the Company.

Simultaneously, Chris Ingram has sold 8,387,598 Ordinary Shares. This reduces his holding to 8,387,597 Ordinary Shares, representing approximately 13.0 per cent. of the Company’s issued share capital. In addition, at the same time, Sara Williams has sold 5,000,000 Ordinary Shares. This reduces her holding to 3,892,263 Ordinary Shares, representing approximately 6.0 per cent. of the Company’s issued share capital.

The Company also announces that subject to shareholder approval it is considering an issue of new Ordinary Shares by way of a placing  to raise up to £2.0 million, the proceeds of which will be used to repay the Company’s current indebtedness and for working capital purposes. In particular, the proceeds will be used to fund the development of the Company’s Events business, including the successful ‘Woman in..” series as well as expanding the capabilities of the Company’s exisiting digital platforms and to fund new business development. The new business areas will concentrate on the provision of media and equity research for both institutional and private investors. The Company has been informed that Messrs Stilwell and Cross intend in aggregate to invest £0.5 million in the proposed fund raising.  A further announcement will be made in due course.

David Smith, Chairman of Vitesse, commented:

“On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to welcome Simon to the Company and look forward to working with him in shaping the future direction of business. I wish to place on record the Board’s appreciation of Niki’s role as Chief Executive over the past 5 years and look forward to her continuing contribution leading our growing events business.”

Appendix: disclosures required pursuant to Rule 17 and Schedule 2(g) of the AIM Rules for Companies

Simon Leslie Stilwell (aged 48), is currently and has in the past 5 years been a director of the following companies:

Save as set out in this announcement, there are no further details to be disclosed under Rule 17 or Schedule 2(g) of the AIM Rules for Companies in respect of Mr Stilwell.

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.

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