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API Group PLC announces Final Results

STOCKPORT, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 06/04/14 --

Press Release                                         4 June 2014

                           API Group plc

                      ("API" or the "Group")

                            Final Results

API Group plc (AIM: API), a leading manufacturer of specialist foils and
packaging materials, announces its final results for the year ended 31
March 2014.

Financial Highlights

* Revenues ahead by GBP2.3m (2.0%) to GBP114.7m (2013: GBP112.4m).

* Profit before tax unchanged at GBP5.6m (2013: GBP5.6m). Profit
  before tax of GBP6.3m on a pre-exceptional basis (2013: GBP6.6m).

* Stronger second half, with pre-exceptional profit before tax ahead
  by GBP0.5m (+15%).

* Diluted earnings per share 7.1p (2013: 7.2p). Excluding exceptional
  items, diluted earnings per share 7.8p (2013: 8.4p).

* Proposed final dividend of 1.3p per share, making 2.0p for the
  full year (2013: 0.0p).

* Cash flow from operations of GBP9.0m (2013: GBP8.6m), converted at
  91% of EBITDA (2013: 86%) and a net cash inflow of GBP2.8m
  (2013: GBP1.2m).

* GBP0.2m net cash at year end (2013: net debt of GBP2.6m), the
  first time for 15 years that the Group has reported a net cash

Operational Highlights

* Another good performance from Laminates and further progress at
  Foils Europe. Holographics back to breakeven in final quarter
  after cost reduction measures. Operating margin maintained at
  Foils Americas despite weaker sales in the second half.

* Laminates major new supply contract fully on stream during second

* Restructuring of UK foils operations completed; new distribution
  facility established in Sheffield, leaving Livingston to
  concentrate on manufacturing.

* New ERP solution successfully implemented by Foils Americas;
  roll-out in Foils Europe scheduled for 2014.

* Capital additions and joint venture investment of GBP3.8m (2013:
  GBP5.5m), including down payments on new metallising equipment
  for UK and US foils plants.

Commenting on the results, Andrew Turner, Group Chief Executive of API
Group plc, said:"In spite of a slightly weaker profit performance, these
demonstrate further strengthening of the Group's financial position,
combined with continued substantial investment in the operating assets
of the business. The year-end net cash balance and the re-introduction
of a dividend after a break of more than ten years, represent important
milestones in the rehabilitation of the Group.

Operational improvement and investment initiatives already completed,
as well as further projects planned for the new financial year, are
expected to strengthen API's position in its key markets and enhance
prospects for future sales and profit growth."             - Ends -

For further information:

API Group plc
Andrew Turner, Group Chief Executive      Tel: +44 (0) 1625 650 334
Chris Smith, Group Finance Director                www.apigroup.com

Numis Securities (Broker)
James Serjeant                            Tel: +44 (0) 20 7260 1000

Cairn Financial Advisers (Nominated Adviser)
Tony Rawlinson / Avi Robinson              Tel: +44 (0) 20 7148 7900

Media enquiries:

Henry Harrison-Topham / Quincy Allan       Tel: +44 (0) 20 7398 7710
[email protected]               www.abchurch-group.com

CEO Review

Overall financial results

Group revenues for the twelve months to March 2014 increased by 2.0%,
at both actual and constant FX rates, to GBP114.7m (2013: GBP112.4m).
Sales volumes were higher by 2.7%, with second half volumes up 7.1% on
the prior year compensating for a small decline in the first six

In spite of the higher sales levels, added value margin declined
slightly due to sales mix between the business units, the impact of
less favourable exchange rates and higher levels of production scrap at
Laminates. This, together with slightly higher variable costs, more
than offset the contribution from higher sales to leave pre-exceptional
operating profits down by 4.8% at GBP7.4m (2013: GBP7.8m). Operating
margin was also lower, by 0.4%, at 6.5%.

At segment level, full year profits advanced at Laminates (GBP0.2m) and
Foils Europe (GBP0.1m) on the back of stronger volumes. Holographics
losses increased by GBP0.4m, due to lower external sales, and Foils
Americas profits declined by GBP0.2m, due to lower activity in the last

In a reversal of the pattern experienced in the last two years and as
anticipated in our interim results statement, profitability improved
significantly in the second half; up GBP0.5m (+15%) on the first half.
Progress at Foils Europe (+GBP0.3m) and reduced losses at Holographics
(+GBP0.4m), as a result of cost reduction measures, more than
compensated for the weaker second half at Foils Americas (-GBP0.4m).
Operating margin for the second half improved to 6.9% compared to 6.1%
in the first half.

For the year as a whole, profit before tax was unchanged, at GBP5.6m;
although a small tax charge led to a marginal fall in diluted earnings
per share to 7.1p (2013:7.2p).

Exceptional costs of GBP0.7m (2013: GBP1.0m) have been separately
disclosed and relate to one-off costs and expenses associated with
organisational change in three business units. Interest costs,
including the new IAS19 pension interest charge, were GBP0.1m lower
at GBP1.1m (2013:GBP1.2m). On a pre-exceptional basis, profit before
tax was 4.5% lower at GBP6.3m (2013: 6.6m) and diluted earnings per
share were 7.8p,compared to 8.4p for the prior year.

Cash from operations, post exceptional items, converted at 91% of
EBITDA (2013: 86%), with a net cash inflow of GBP2.8m compared to
GBP1.2m for the previous year. Whilst cash capital expenditure of
GBP3.5m was lower than the previous year (2013: GBP5.3m) capital
additions still represented 1.4 times depreciation and will remain
above depreciation for at least another two years as additional
capacity is introduced into the Foils businesses. The Group completed
its investment in the Czech Joint Venture after a further GBP0.5m
transfer of funds on top of the GBP0.4m paid last year. With working
capital broadly unchanged, the Group reported a small net cash
position at the financial year end of GBP0.2m (2013: GBP2.6m debt).


Following payment of the interim dividend in January, the Board is
pleased to propose a final dividend of 1.3p per share. The total,
full-year dividend of 2.0p will be put to shareholders for approval at
the Annual General Meeting on July 15th and subject to this approval,
it is our intention that the final dividend will be paid on August 1st
to shareholders on the register as at July 11th, with an ex-dividend
date of Wednesday July 9th.


The Board expects a continuation of the second half trading momentum,
with progression in results for the first half and for the financial
year as a whole.

At this stage, it is unclear how long Foils Americas will be affected
by the reduced demand from metallic pigment customers, but any impact
on the Group's results should be more than compensated by the
elimination of trading losses at Holographics and the benefit of last
year's restructuring at Foils Europe.

In respect of general market conditions, Foils Europe continues to
experience steady overall demand, whereas recent activity in the
decorative foils market in North America appears somewhat slower than
usual. At Laminates, the new financial year has started strongly and
there is a good pipeline of new business development projects.

Management is pressing ahead with its operational improvement and
growth agenda, including the roll-out of the Group's new ERP platform
and investments in additional capacity for the Foils businesses. These
initiatives will strengthen API's ability to service customers in key
markets and enhance the Group's prospects over the medium term.

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          The company news service from the London Stock Exchange


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