Proactiveinvestors RSS feed en Fri, 23 Feb 2018 04:04:44 +0000 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[RNS press release - Interim Results ]]> Fri, 29 Dec 2017 11:07:11 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Stmnt re Share Price Movement ]]> Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:09:36 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Update ]]> Tue, 21 Nov 2017 12:15:02 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Block listing Interim Review ]]> Mon, 20 Nov 2017 11:30:01 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of AGM ]]> Wed, 01 Nov 2017 13:50:01 +0000 <![CDATA[News - Stanley Gibbons: Philately will get you nowhere ]]> Collectables specialist Stanley Gibbons has been around since 1856 but its future independence, if not its very survival, must be in doubt.

Full year results released last week revealed the extent of the mess left behind by previous management.

Group turnover in the year to the end of March declined to £42.5 million from a (restated) £59.1 million the year before.

The adjusted loss before tax widened to £11.1 million from £4.9 million, while reported loss before tax deepened to £30.2 million from £27.9 million.

On the plus side, total borrowings reduced to £16.5 million from £21.9 million a year earlier, but shareholders would also have been alarmed to learn that there has been a further 48% fall in the net asset value, resulting from one-off restructuring costs, continued difficult trading conditions and the ongoing legacy of the group's investment contracts, which included guaranteed buy-backs.

Due to the group's net assets being below £20 million, the group is currently in default on its banking facilities and remains dependent upon its bank's ongoing support.

“There can be no guarantee that the bank will provide facilities beyond 31 May 2018 and the company is likely to require access to further liquidity in the intervening period,” last Monday's statement said.

Like another fondly remembered name from our childhood, Hornby, the famous business has gone seriously off the tracks this decade.

Arguably, it all started to go wrong when the previous management decided to leverage the Stanley Gibbons name and set up an electronic platform to rival that of eBay.

This was a good idea, but the execution was lousy.

How good an idea?

Well, look at this page on eBay, which has a copy of the superhero comic Flash up for offer at a cool C$1.5 million.

No one could blame Stanley Gibbons for wanting to get a share of that kind of business, but the old management soon found itself out of its depth when it came to setting up a robust e-commerce trading platform.

The online collectables business, “The Marketplace”, launched in 2015, was an “ill-conceived, badly managed project which was allowed to severely over-run budgeted expenditure,” according to Harry Wilson, who took over as chairman of Stanley Gibbons in May 2016 and wasted little time in moving the group's headquarters from the cosy backwater of Jersey to London.

Chief executive Michael Hall and chief financial officer Donal Duff stepped down from the board as a result of the geographical shift.

Whether the move from the Channel Islands to the mainland was just a fig leaf to spare the blushes of the former management is not known but it is possible to draw some conclusions from Wilson's subsequent comments.

The twin acquisitions of the fine wine and antiques trader Noble Investments and the art and furniture specialist Mallett were “poorly managed” according to Wilson. 

“[The acquisitions] failed to instil a cohesive, UK-based management structure with adequate challenge and competition for capital,” Wilson said a year ago when the can of worms at Stanley Gibbons was opened a bit wider with the release of fiscal 2016's full-year results.

Wilson said the firms were not properly integrated, a drain on investment and left the business in too much debt.

In an era when interest rates have been at their lowest levels since records began, alternative investments have boomed in popularity; as a world leader in stamps and other collectables, Stanley Gibbons should have benefited from that boom.

Instead, it was brought to its knees, prompting the current board to initiate a full strategic review in June and start selling off chunks of the business.

In May it offloaded its interest in Masterpiece London, the operator of the annual Masterpiece London art and antiques fair, to Masterpiece for £1.4 million, and at the beginning of this month it managed to dispose of its Dreweatts 1759 business at the second time of asking.

The chairman, Harry Wilson, told shareholders last week that there are other parties interested in buying some or all of the business, though he reckons a bid for the entire company remains one of the less likely outcomes.

In the meantime, the company has dramatically slashed its overheads, drawn in its horns, and gone back to focusing on stamp & coin dealing activities.

Annualised operating cost savings of more than £10 million have been achieved to date through the restructuring programme and the full benefit of this will be seen in the current financial year (to 31 March 2018).

Further savings are expected to be made as the restructuring programme reaches its conclusion.

Meanwhile, the troublesome e-commerce division has been improved and remains key to the future of the business.

It is very much a case of back to the future, with the group returning to what it knows best: stamps and coins, where it has major global brands in Stanley Gibbons and Baldwin's.

“These businesses both operate in large markets with a global presence where integrity, expertise and heritage are at a premium,” Wilson noted.

“Our strategy is to improve the efficiency of our businesses while maintaining disciplined capital allocation and growing brand recognition in broader markets internationally. We believe this will enable us to establish a sustainable and profitable business model for the group and deliver long term value to shareholders in the process,” Wilson said.

Let's hope he's right, otherwise we could be seeing a commemorative stamp, marked: Stanley Gibbons, 1856 -2017.

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 15:54:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - Stanley Gibbons slumps as it finally manages to offload interiors division ]]> Stanley Gibbons Group PLC (LON:SGI) has managed to sell its struggling interiors division at the second time of asking, and it expects the sale to boost profitability next year.

The rare-stamp and collectables group's attempt to sell the division fell through in August but a new buyer has now been found.

Sale worth up to £1.65mln

Gurr Johns is paying up to £1.65mln for the business which is significantly less than the £2.5mln Millicent were prepared to pay, although the new sale doesn’t include the Mallett and Made by Meta brands as originally planned.

The sale is part of management plans to revitalise the 161-year-old group, which has seen 97% of its value wiped away in recent years.

The money raised from the sale will go straight into the company’s coffers to boost its working capital position.

Full year numbers reflect issues

During the 12 months ended March 31, SGI saw revenues tumble to £42.5mln from £59.1mln a year earlier, while trading losses more than doubled to £8.8mln (2016: £3.9mln)

A little more than £5mln of those losses came from the interiors division and the company now expects the overall figure to “reduce dramatically” given the sale.

SGI is also pinning some its turnaround hopes on venturing into new markets such as the Middle East, where it sees significant untapped potential.

‘Difficult’ period, says boss

“The last 18 months have been difficult for everyone involved with Stanley Gibbons and the directors would like to thank all our stakeholders, particularly our hard-working staff, for their continued support,” said chairman Harry Wilson.

“The restructuring undertaken to date has put the group in a position where it is hoped its fortunes and reputation can be restored, however there are immediate challenges that still need to be overcome.”

Investors weren’t particularly willing to wait it out for those challenges to pass, with shares down 14.1% to 8.06p.

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 09:12:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Final Results ]]> Mon, 02 Oct 2017 07:02:11 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Sale of Interiors Division ]]> Mon, 02 Oct 2017 07:00:05 +0100 <![CDATA[News - £2.5mln sale of Stanley Gibbons’ interiors division falls through ]]> The £2.5mln sale of part of Stanley Gibbons Group PLC’s (LON:SGI) interiors division has fallen through after the potential buyer was unable to get the money together in time.

The rare-stamp and collectables group told investors that it had given Millicent Holdings ample time to conclude the purchase but the potential buyer had been “unable to access the funds” required.

Last month, SGI agreed to push pack the completion deadline after it was informed that Millicent – which initially agreed the deal back in May – had changed its financial arrangements.

The deal is off the cards altogether now, and Stanley Gibbons said it was now owed a termination fee from Millicent.

SGI told investors that it believes other parties are interested in snapping up the interiors division.

Put up for sale earlier this year

Back in June, the 161-year-old company put itself up for sale as part of its efforts to revitalise the business, which has seen 97% wiped from its value in just over three years.

The AIM-listed firm has undergone a ‘comprehensive’ restructuring over the past year or so, during which time it has overhauled the board and executive leadership.

Stanley Gibbons recently said the restructuring has seen it slash costs by more than £10mln and raise £6.3mln from the sales of non-core assets, leaving it a “much more stable outfit”.

It has identified new markets for potential growth, but said that any investment would likely require a fresh injection of cash.

“Unlocking this incremental long term value is likely to require further investment and the directors believe that it is likely therefore that such value is best delivered either within a larger group or alongside a strategic investment,” SGI said at the time.

Shares initially opened lower but have recovered and are currently flat at 9.5p.

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 09:05:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Update on Interiors Division ]]> Fri, 04 Aug 2017 07:00:07 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Further Update on Disposal of Interiors Division ]]> Tue, 01 Aug 2017 07:00:14 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Update on Disposal of Interiors Division ]]> Fri, 14 Jul 2017 07:30:00 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - David Preston Mann - Form 8.3 ]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:36:46 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Evolution Securities China Form 8.3 ]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:26:39 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Evolution Securities China Form 8.3 ]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:56:52 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Form 8 (OPD) - The Stanley Gibbons Group Plc ]]> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 09:30:01 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Update ]]> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 11:35:01 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Stanley Gibbons puts itself up for sale amid takeover confusion ]]> Shares in Stanley Gibbons Group PLC (LON:SGI) fell in early trade on Monday after the rare stamp and collectables group put itself up for sale.

The AIM-listed firm has undergone a ‘comprehensive’ restructuring over the past year or so, during which time it has overhauled the board and executive leadership.

Stanley Gibbons said the restructuring has seen it slash costs by more than £10mln and raise £6.3mln from the sales of non-core assets, leaving it a “much more stable outfit”.

The 161-year-old company has identified as new markets for potential growth, but said that any investment would likely require a fresh injection of cash.

“Unlocking this incremental long term value is likely to require further investment and the directors believe that it is likely therefore that such value is best delivered either within a larger group or alongside a strategic investment,” the company said in a stock exchange announcement this morning.

Disruptive denies making takeover approach

On Friday, a short statement from SGI claimed that it had received a “possible offer” from Disruptive Capital Finance, led by City financier and Boris Johnson’s former pensions adviser Edi Truell.

That news sent shares soaring by more than 11% on Friday afternoon.

However, Disruptive has today clarified its position and it is “not making an offer” for Stanley Gibbons. It said an email sent to the company at the end of last month had been misinterpreted as a takeover approach.

Disruptive did add that it had been in discussions with the Stanley Gibbons’ hierarchy “for some time” but that it hadn’t decided on whether or not to make a formal offer.

With an offer seemingly not as forthcoming as initially thought, Stanley Gibbons shares shed most of the gains they made on Friday afternoon.

The stock was down 12% to 11.5p on Monday morning.

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 09:29:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Strategic Review and Formal Sales Process ]]> Mon, 12 Jun 2017 07:00:04 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Form 8 (DD) - Stanley Gibbons Group PLC ]]> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 11:35:25 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Statement re Possible Offer ]]> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 09:13:51 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Sale of interest in Masterpiece London Ltd ]]> Tue, 30 May 2017 07:00:10 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Block listing Interim Review ]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 12:00:03 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Stanley Gibbons still stamped with worry despite disposals, progress in trading update ]]> Stanley Gibbons Group PLC (LON:SGI) saw its share drop today after the embattled stamp and coin collecting specialists accompanied news of the disposal of some auction businesses and a trading update showing some progress with the revelation of a possible lawsuit.

The AIM-listed group said a "significant debtor" has said it "may wish" to pursue a counterclaim against one of the firm's subsidiaries. Stanley Gibbons added that it would "vigorously contest" any such move, but said it could not guarantee the outcome of any dispute.

READ: What went wrong with Stanley Gibbons?

The revelation came as the firm said it has agreed to sell the majority of its Interiors divisions, which includes auction houses Drewatts and Mallet, for £2.4mln in order to refocus the business and raise funds to pay down debt.

Stanley Gibbons said it will retain the Mallett inventory, the rental income from the former Mallett New York premises, the Bloomsbury auction and retail business, and its interests in Masterpiece London Ltd

In its trading update, the group said: “Whilst the current Board believes that the strategic decisions of the previous Board caused undeniable damage to the Company, the demonstrable strengths of the underlying businesses, and the people within them, are becoming ever more clear.”

Stanley Gibbons said, that since its last update with interim results in December, its Baldwin's business has performed particularly well under new operational management, while the Baldwin's of St James's joint venture established last December is "progressing well".

In midday trading, Stanley Gibbons shares were down 5.6%, or 0.5p to 8.38p having lost over 32% in value over the year-to-date and nearly halved in one year.

Tue, 09 May 2017 11:56:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Disposal of Interiors Division and Trading Update ]]> Tue, 09 May 2017 07:00:08 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Stanley Gibbons nets record £500,000 for strip of rare Indian stamps ]]> Shares in Stanley Gibbons Group PLC (LON:SGI) jumped this morning after the prestige collectibles merchant sold a strip of rare Indian stamps to a private collector-investor in Australia for £500,000.

That’s the highest price ever paid for a single Indian philatelic item.

Stanley Gibbons said the “unique” strip of four 1948 Gandhi 10 rupees ‘SERVICE’ stamps is considered the most desirable item of post-1947 Indian philately.

Only single examples of this “great rarity” have ever been recorded in private hands, the AIM-quoted firm said. In fact, Stanley Gibbons sold one of the singles last year to a client in Uruguay for £160,000.

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The reason for the rarity and subsequent high value of these particular stamps is because only 100 were ever printed with the word ‘SERVICE’ on and they were issued directly to the Governor-General’s secretariat.

One sheet of 50 stamps remains intact in the Delhi Postal Museum, while only thirteen single examples from the other sheet are authoritatively recorded, including the strip of four just sold.

HM Queen Elizabeth II is also known to have a similar strip of four 1948 Ghandi ‘SERVICE’ stamps in her collection, which is thought to be the largest and most valuable private collection in the world.

Today’s sale follows on from a string of recent high-profile sales of Indian rarities, including the famous ‘Four Annas’ – where the head of Queen Victoria is inverted – which sold for almost £110,000 last month.

“The market for high-quality Indian rarities has been strong for several years and is supported by the on-going desire of the wealthy, Indian diaspora and savvy international clients to own these historic assets,” said Stanley Gibbons’ managing director of investors.

“Given Stanley Gibbons' specific expertise, we are best placed to identify, authenticate and trade rare Indian stamps of the highest quality.”

Shares in Stanley Gibbons gained almost 9% to trade at 9.37p shortly before midday. 

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:58:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Rare Indian stamps sold for record £500,000 ]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 07:00:10 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Interim Results and Notice of EGM ]]> Fri, 30 Dec 2016 11:15:06 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Change of Registered Office ]]> Thu, 01 Dec 2016 17:15:01 +0000 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of AGM and Director Retirement ]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:35:03 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Grant of Options ]]> Thu, 06 Oct 2016 07:00:09 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Board Appointment ]]> Tue, 04 Oct 2016 07:00:06 +0100 <![CDATA[News - What went wrong with Stanley Gibbons? ]]> Stamp collector Stanley Gibbons Group PLC (LON:SGI) posted a £28mln loss before tax in the year to the end of March on revenues of £59mln, after taking one-off charges of £24mln.

In Monday’s announcement, the group listed a lengthy confession in a section entitled: “What went wrong?”  

“Shareholders deserve an explanation of the combination of events leading to the severely disappointing trading result,” said the group.

The new team wasted no time in pinning it all on the ousted management. Chairman Harry Wilson said the group had gone “badly adrift” under previous directors.

Following a year that saw two profit warnings and it going cap-in-hand to shareholders, the group embarked on a period of aggressive cost-cutting, slashing jobs and overhauling its management team.

The group shed almost the entire board, with chief executive Mike Hall and finance director Donal Duff parting ways with the company in July.

Accountancy firm BDO uncovered a number of mistakes in the way the group reported revenues from the sale of investment plans in its stamp trading arm.

Subsequently the value of its assets dropped 43% after a restatement of figures from previous years, while its bank debt doubled to £21.9mln.

Loss per share hit 62.17p, compared to diluted earnings per share of 1.47p. The group also scrapped its full year dividend.

Wilson blamed a number of “fundamental errors” in the management of the business.

He said the online collectables business “The Marketplace” - launched last year in an attempt to rival eBay for trading commemorative items like coins and stamps – was an “ill-conceived, badly managed project which was allowed to severely over-run budgeted expenditure”.

Meanwhile the twin acquisitions of the fine wine and antiques trader Noble Investments and the art and furniture specialist Mallett were “poorly managed” according to Wilson.  

“[The acquisitions] failed to instil a cohesive, UK based management structure with adequate challenge and competition for capital”.

He said the firms were not properly integrated, a drain on investment and left the business in too much debt.

Stanley Gibbons was primed to move on, however, with Wilson fairly confident going forward.

“The market for rare collectibles and fine art remains buoyant for collectors and given the low interest rate environment continues to offer an attractive alternative for investment,” said Wilson.

“Quality collectibles have traditionally maintained their value and appeal over the long term and particularly in times of uncertainty.”

Shares fell 10% in early morning trading to 11.75p.

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 11:11:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Final Results ]]> Mon, 03 Oct 2016 07:03:03 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Directorate Change ]]> Thu, 15 Sep 2016 07:00:09 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Corporate Update, Board Changes and Audit Update ]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 07:00:05 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Timing of Results ]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:49:15 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 16:33:08 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Sale of Premises & Board Appointments ]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 07:00:12 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Directorate Change ]]> Tue, 17 May 2016 07:00:09 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Block listing Interim Review ]]> Mon, 16 May 2016 11:40:03 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Thu, 05 May 2016 10:03:07 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Wed, 06 Apr 2016 11:45:02 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Tue, 05 Apr 2016 09:30:03 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Holding(s) in Company ]]> Mon, 04 Apr 2016 10:15:02 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Stanley Gibbons Group PLC raises £13mln to repay debt ]]> Stamp collecting firm Stanley Gibbons Group Plc (LON:SGI) has raised £13mln in a placing and open offer to pay off debt and underpin its cost-cutting drive.

Gibbons said it had received applications for 83,039,838 open offer shares, representing a take-up rate of 220.3%.

The group said the move would ensure it has enough money to repay debt, support its rationalisation programme, integrate previous acquisitions and provide the extra working capital needed to allow it to trade efficiently.

Gibbons said in January that it was considering options to shore up its working capital position before the end of its financial year this month.

In November, the group scrapped its interim dividend as profits tumbled to £400,000 from £3.7mln.

The firm had already cautioned that weakness in Asia and difficult markets for some of its more high-value stock would affect full-year numbers.

Shares in the group rose 1.12p, or 7%, to 16.88p in mid-morning London trading.

Thu, 31 Mar 2016 10:10:00 +0100
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of Open Offer ]]> Thu, 31 Mar 2016 07:00:09 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of EGM ]]> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 12:25:02 +0100 <![CDATA[RNS press release - Fundraising and Notice of EGM ]]> Mon, 14 Mar 2016 07:00:08 +0000