Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

Forever Broadcast (FOB)

  Print      Mail a friend

Tuesday 14 May, 2002

Forever Broadcast

Interim Results

Forever Broadcasting PLC
14 May 2002


For Immediate Release: 14 May 2002



                            FOREVER BROADCASTING PLC

             INTERIM RESULTS FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 MARCH 2002



Forever Broadcasting plc, the Newcastle-based independent radio company, today
announces interim results for the six months ended 31 March 2002.



Summary:


•         Turnover of £1,852,000 (2001: £702,000), representing some 40% like
          for like growth


•         Normalised operating loss for the period £1.1m (2001: £1.05m)


•         Loss per share of 5.4p (2001: 4.6p)


•         Now operating five local radio stations


•         87% of revenue derived from local advertising, more robust in a
          downturn


•         Latest RAJAR results report record performance, outperforming the
          industry as a whole


•         Continues to pursue licence opportunities


•         Working capital cash requirements covered by new banking facilities


•         Strategy remains to continue to invest for long term growth



Commenting on the results, John Josephs, Chairman, said:



'Our focus on local advertising enabled us to record a 40% increase in turnover
in the six months ended 31 March 2002, compared to the aggregate turnover of the
five stations for the first six months of the last financial year.  While sales
progress to 31 March 2002 was slower than expected we have grown both our
revenue and our audiences in difficult circumstances, outperforming the industry
as a whole.  We remain focused on enhancing the trading performance of our
stations and in recent weeks business has been better than for some time.  I am
confident that we will achieve our long-term objective of developing a strong
group of radio stations that will maximise value for shareholders.'



Enquiries:

John Josephs/Eric Lawrence                                  0191 286 0000
Forever Broadcasting

David Simonson/Nicola Davidson                              020 7606 1244
Merlin Financial




Interim Results 2002


Chairman's Statement


I am pleased to present our interim statement for the six months ended 31 March
2002.



Results

The 'normalised' operating loss for the period is £1,106,000 (2001: £1,049,000)
on turnover of £1,852,000 (2001: £702,000).  The result for the current period
includes a full six months trading at all five of our radio stations.  The
comparative figures for 2001 include six months trading at Juice in Liverpool
and Tower FM in Bolton/Bury, three months at Juice in Brighton (acquired 19
December 2000) and less than three months at The Wolf in Wolverhampton (acquired
8 February 2001) Peak in Chesterfield was not acquired until June 2001.  The
adjusted loss per share was 5.4p (2001: 4.6p).



Operational Review



Sales

Total advertising spend on commercial radio in the final quarter of 2001 was 12%
lower than in the corresponding quarter of 2000.  Our focus on local advertising
enabled us to achieve a 40% increase in turnover in the six months ended 31
March 2002, compared to the aggregate turnover of our five stations for the same
period last year.

87% of our revenue was derived from local advertising, as it was during the year
ended 30 September 2001.  Although the current year started well, trading since
January has been more difficult; competition for local advertising revenue has
intensified while national advertising revenue has shown little sign of
recovery.  We believe that this is a temporary constraint on the rate of growth
of our sales.



Programming/Audiences

The RAJAR survey for Q1 2002, published on 9 May 2002, showed that across all
five stations we have increased our audience to 360,000 adults, an increase of
7% on the previous survey.  This increase was achieved in a period during which,
across the UK, the audience to all commercial radio increased by only 1%.

Within the overall figures, our Juice stations have achieved their best ever
total listening hours, and two of our three mainstream stations recorded their
largest ever number of listeners.



Finance

Last month we increased our credit facility with HSBC plc to £3.5m to provide
for our working capital requirements for the foreseeable future.

At 31 March 2002 the overdraft was £1.98m



Corporate Development



Activity in recent months has been centred on the submission of three licence
applications, for the East Midlands region and Oxford, both of which are based
on the Juice format, and for Worthing, in which we have a 35% stake.  We expect
to hear the outcome of these applications before the end of the financial year.
In addition, we are currently preparing an application for a new licence for
Barnsley, to be submitted later this month.



Given the inherent uncertainties which surround licence application success,
expansion by acquisition remains the most accessible route to growth, together
with the successful organic development of the five stations acquired so far.



While circumstances since last summer have mitigated against further
acquisitions, we believe that there will continue to be opportunities that are
value enhancing for Forever Broadcasting as the radio industry consolidates, a
process that should be accelerated by the forthcoming Communications Bill.



Prospects

This has been a challenging period for the company, and while sales progress to
31 March 2002 was slower than expected we have grown both our revenue and our
audiences in difficult circumstances, outperforming the industry as a whole.



We remain focused on enhancing the trading performance of our stations and in
recent weeks business has been better than for some time.  I am confident that
we will achieve our long-term objective of developing a strong group of radio
stations that will maximise value for shareholders.





Consolidated profit and loss account for the 6 months ended 31 March  2002



                                                            Unaudited          Unaudited             Audited
                                                       6 months ended     6 months ended          Year ended
                                                        31 March 2002      31 March 2001   30 September 2001
                                                                £'000              £'000               £'000
Turnover

Continuing operations                                           1,852                702               2,172

Operating loss
Continuing operations                                         (3,219)            (2,132)             (5,199)
Net interest (payable)/receivable                                (46)                238                 268


Loss on ordinary activities before                            (3,265)            (1,894)             (4,931)
taxation

Tax on loss on ordinary activities                                  -                  -                   -

Loss for the financial period                                 (3,265)            (1,894)             (4,931)

Loss per share - basic                                          15.2p              10.7p               26.2p


Adjusted loss per share                                          5.4p               4.6p               10.4p





The group has no recognised gains or losses other than the loss above and
therefore no separate statement of total recognised gains and losses has been
presented.



'Normalised' operating loss is calculated as follows:

                                                                £'000              £'000               £'000

Operating loss                                                (3,219)            (2,132)             (5,199)
Amortisation of goodwill                                        1,860                810               2,439
Restructuring costs                                               100                 63                 210
Licence application costs                                         153                210                 284

Aborted deal costs                                                  -                  -                  40

'Normalised' operating loss                                   (1,106)            (1,049)             (2,226)



The 'normalised' operating loss represents the underlying performance of the
business before the amortisation of goodwill, restructuring costs, licence
application costs and aborted deal costs.

Consolidated balance sheet as at 31 March 2002

                                                             Unaudited        Unaudited            Audited
                                                              31 March         31 March        30 September
                                                                  2002             2001                2001
                                                                 £'000            £'000               £'000


Fixed assets
Goodwill                                                        15,270           13,910             17,130
Tangible assets                                                    677              441                695
Investments                                                      2,748            1,038              2,832
                                                                18,695           15,389             20,657
Current assets
Debtors                                                            941              692                965
Cash at bank and in hand                                             -            3,154                  -
                                                                   941            3,846                965
Creditors: amounts falling due within one year                 (2,832)            (784)            (1,570)
Net current (liabilities)/assets                               (1,891)            3,062              (605)

Creditors: amounts falling in more than one year                 (390)                -              (373)
Net assets                                                      16,414           18,451             19,679

Capital and reserves
Called up equity share capital                                  10,759            9,156             10,759
Share premium account                                           10,656           12,828             10,656
Other reserves                                                   4,834                -              4,834
Profit and loss account                                        (9,835)          (3,533)            (6,570)
Equity shareholders' funds                                      16,414           18,451             19,679





Consolidated cash flow statement for the period ended 31 March 2002

                                                             Unaudited        Unaudited          Audited
                                                        6 months ended   6 months ended       Year ended
                                                              31 March         31 March     30 September
                                                                  2002             2001             2001
                                                                 £'000            £'000            £'000


Net cash outflow from operating activities                      (1,306)          (1,273)          (2,732)

Returns on investments and servicing of finance
Interest received                                                     -              270              309
Interest paid                                                      (47)              (6)             (14)

Net cash (outflow)/inflow from returns on investment
and servicing of finance                                           (47)              264              295

Taxation                                                              -                -                -

Capital expenditure and financial investment
Purchase of trade investments                                     (280)            (250)          (1,316)
Purchase of tangible fixed assets                                  (72)             (57)            (295)
Sale of tangible fixed assets                                         -                -                2

Net cash outflow from capital expenditure and
financial investment                                              (352)            (307)          (1,609)

Acquisitions
Purchase of subsidiary undertakings                                   -          (7,746)          (8,360)
Net overdraft acquired with subsidiaries                              -             (91)             (88)
Net cash outflow from acquisitions                                    -          (7,837)          (8,448)
Cash outflow before financing                                   (1,705)          (9,153)         (12,494)
Financing
Net proceeds from issue of equity share capital                       -              (4)              (4)
Capital element of finance lease repayments                        (11)                -              (4)
Repayment of loans                                                  (2)            (256)            (256)
Repayment of loans acquired with subsidiaries                         -             (82)            (156)
Net cash outflow from financing                                    (13)            (342)            (420)
Decrease in net cash                                            (1,718)          (9,495)         (12,914)



1.              Basis of reporting

The financial information for the 6 months ended 31 March 2001 and the 6 months
ended 31 March 2002 contained within this statement is unaudited and does not
constitute statutory accounts as defined in Section 240 of the Companies Act
1985. The financial information for the year ended 30 September 2001 is based on
the statutory accounts for the year then ended. Full accounts for that year, on
which the auditors made an unqualified report, have been delivered to the
Registrar of Companies and did not contain a statement under section 237(2) or
(3) of the Companies Act 1985.

The interim accounts have been prepared on the basis of the accounting policies
adopted for the year ended 30 September 2001 as updated for the introduction of
FRS19 'Deferred Taxation'. The introduction of the standard has no significant
impact on the reported results. These policies are set out in the Company's
Annual Report.

2.      Reconciliation of operating loss to net cash flow from operating
        activities

                                                           Unaudited        Unaudited        Audited
                                                      6 months ended   6 months ended     Year ended
                                                            31 March         31 March   30 September
                                                                2002             2001           2001
                                                               £'000            £'000          £'000


Operating loss                                                 (3,219)          (2,132)            (5,199)
Depreciation of tangible fixed assets                              133               65                168
Profit on sale of fixed assets                                       -                -                (1)
Amortisation of goodwill                                         1,860              810              2,439
Decrease/(Increase) in debtors                                      32            (208)              (358)
(Decrease)/Increase in creditors                                 (112)              192                219
Net cash outflow from operating activities                     (1,306)          (1,273)            (2,732)



3.              Reconciliation of net cashflow to movement in net funds

                                                            Unaudited        Unaudited            Audited
                                                       6 months ended   6 months ended         Year ended
                                                             31 March         31 March       30 September
                                                                 2002             2001               2001
                                                                £'000            £'000              £'000


Decrease in cash                                               (1,718)          (9,495)           (12,914)
Loan notes and other debts repaid                                   13              256                416
Other non-cash changes                                            (39)                -                  -
Debts acquired with subsidiaries                                     -                -              (199)
Movement in the period                                         (1,744)          (9,239)           (12,697)
Net (debt)/funds at the start of the period                      (304)           12,393             12,393
Net (debt)/funds at the end of the period                      (2,048)            3,154              (304)


4.              Analysis of net debt

                                        30 September         Cashflow   Other non-cash       31 March 2002
                                                2001                      changes 2001
                                               £'000            £'000            £'000               £'000

Overdraft                                      (265)          (1,718)                -             (1,983)
Loan notes: due within one year                 (12)                -                -                (12)
Bank loans:
        Due within one year                      (3)                2              (2)                 (3)

        Due in more than a year                  (3)                -                2                 (1)


Finance leases:

        Due within one year                     (17)               11             (20)                (26)
        Due in more than a year                  (4)                -             (19)                (23)

Net debt                                       (304)          (1,705)             (39)             (2,048)



5.              Loss per share

The basic loss per 50p ordinary share has been calculated based on the loss
after taxation of  £3,265,000 (2001: £1,894,000) and 21,519,225 (2001:
17,758,262) ordinary shares, being the weighted average number of ordinary
shares in issue during the period.

The adjusted loss per share has been calculated based on the loss after taxation
of  £1,152,000 (2001: £811,000), which is before amortisation of goodwill,
restructuring costs, licence application costs and aborted deal costs, and upon
21,519,225 (2001: 17,758,262) ordinary shares, being the weighted average number
of ordinary shares in issue.

6.              Tax on loss on ordinary activities

No liability arises for UK corporation tax as a result of losses incurred during
the period.

7.              Equity shareholders' funds

                                                                      £'000
At 1 October 2001                                                    19,679
Loss for the financial period                                        (3,265)
At 31 March 2002                                                     16,414


--------------------------



                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
  ND

IR BKNKBOBKDPPD                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

a d v e r t i s e m e n t