Trading update and update on transfer of Sprue's listing from ISDX to AIM
Sprue, one of Europe's leading home safety products suppliers, today issues a trading update ahead of its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2013, which are expected to be announced in April 2014.
2013 was a strong year of trading for Sprue, reflected in record sales ahead of market expectations at approximately GBP48.3m, up 30% on the prior year and an operating profit which is anticipated to be in line with market expectations for the year before exceptional bid defence costs of GBP0.4m.
Continental Europe, in particular Germany, has seen very strong demand, principally from higher sales of the award winning FireAngel ST-620 Thermoptek smoke alarm and Sprue's FireAngel WST-630 which includes a wireless radio module. In the UK, Retail and Utilities and Leisure have also performed strongly, largely on the back of growth in carbon monoxide detector sales and significant contract wins in 2012. In addition, sales of the Company's own carbon monoxide sensors more than doubled compared to 2012.
As expected, gross margin has declined slightly compared to FY 2012 principally due to changes in sales mix. Operating profit is significantly higher than in 2012, benefiting from the operational leverage from higher sales. The balance sheet at the year end remained strong with GBP5.2m of cash and no debt.
The Company is pleased to confirm that the miniaturised version of its existing carbon monoxide sensor, the Nano-905 has commenced manufacture and is expected to be installed in carbon monoxide detectors in H1 2014.
The Company's forward order book remains strong and with the planned launch of the SONA trade range and other significant new products this year, the Board remains confident of the outlook for 2014.
The Company reaffirms its commitment to continue to develop its own technology and to focus on delivering innovative, technology led, market leading home safety product solutions to position itself as the market leader in each of the markets it serves.
Sprue's move to AIM
After consultation with the Company's major shareholders, the Board is pleased to confirm that it will seek to transfer the Company's listing from ISDX to AIM in the second quarter of 2014 following publication of the Company's final results for the year ended 31 December 2013.