EPE Special Opps Ltd - Trading Statement
RNS Number : 6920C
EPE Special Opportunities Limited
12 February 2020
 

EPE Special Opportunities Limited

("ESO" or the "Company")

 

Trading Statement

 

The Board of EPE Special Opportunities Limited is pleased to provide an update on the Company's performance for the year ended 31 January 2020.

 

Summary

 

·      The unaudited estimate of the Company's Net Asset Value ("NAV") as at 31 January 2020 is 317.18 pence per share, an increase of 54.6 per cent on the NAV per share of 205.19 pence as at 31 January 2019. This unaudited estimate has been prepared using the Company's historic valuation methodology and accounting principles.

 

·      The strong performance of the Company's NAV per share has been driven primarily by the growth in value of the Companies two largest assets, Luceco and Whittard of Chelsea ("Whittard").

 

·      The share price at 31 January 2020 was 199.00 pence, representing an increase of 33.9 per cent on the share price of 148.57 pence as at 31 January 2019.

 

·      Whittard displayed encouraging sales growth and improved profitability over the period. The business's UK retail estate continued to perform strongly, achieving 9.1 per cent LFL sales growth, whilst further afield three new stores were opened in Taiwan. Growth in Whittard's e-commerce channel was maintained both domestically and in China.

 

·      On 28 January 2020, Luceco released its full year trading statement for the year ending 31 December 2019. The business reported stronger trading performance as well as sustained gross margin gains and increased profitability following the successful implementation of operational improvements.

 

·      Trading at David Phillips improved steadily over the course of 2019, with the business successfully identifying new opportunities to improve sales and profitability.

 

·      Pharmacy2U maintained its strong growth trajectory throughout the period, underpinned by significant improvements in key customer acquisition, retention and profitability metrics.

 

·      The Company's portfolio is valued at a weighted average EBITDA to enterprise value multiple of 8.1x (excluding Pharmacy2U, which is valued on a sales multiple). The Company's portfolio has in aggregate 0.7x third party net debt to EBITDA.

 

·      The Board continues to examine new investment opportunities identified by the Investment Advisor.

 

·      Between June and October 2019, the Company completed buybacks in the market totaling 752,001 ordinary shares (or 2.3 per cent of the Company's issued ordinary share capital).

 

·      Liquidity at the Company is circa £26 million. The Company has outstanding unsecured loans of £3.9 million, of which £2.0 million will be redeemed in July 2020.

 

Mr Clive Spears, Chairman, commented: "The performance of the Company for the year ending 31 January 2020 has been excellent, led by a significant recovery in value at Luceco plc and encouraging sales and profit growth at Whittard. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Investment Advisor, EPIC Private Equity, for their hard work and dedication in restoring ESO to growth over the course of the last two years. The Board looks forward to the release of the audited report and accounts for year ended 31 January 2020 in due course."

 

The person responsible for releasing this information on behalf of the Company is Amanda Robinson of Langham Hall Fund Management (Jersey) Limited.

 

Enquiries:

 

EPIC Private Equity LLP

+44 (0) 207 269 8865

Alex Leslie



Langham Hall Fund Management (Jersey) Limited

+44 (0) 15 3488 5200)

Amanda Robinson



Cardew Group Limited

+44 (0) 207 930 0777

Richard Spiegelberg



Numis Securities Limited

+44 (0) 207 260 1000

Nominated Advisor:

Stuart Skinner / Huw Jeremy

Corporate Broker:

Charles Farquhar

 


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