Shares – Four recovery plays or four doomed to disappear ? You decide

Tickers for the four shares are PVCS, PFD, CRND & CSLT


Some of our customers have reduced production in response to the weak market conditions and accordingly the Group now expects full year shipment volumes to be in the range 360-390MW. This is broadly flat in comparison with the 378MW shipped the previous year but below the 400-450MW indicated at the time of our interim results on 18 August 2011.

In light of these market conditions the Board has resolved to take appropriate actions to manage the business through these difficult times and to conserve the Group’s cash. In the short term the Group intends to reduce production output at its UK ingot and German wafer operations.  The Board also intends to suspend production temporarily at its polysilicon facility in Bitterfeld, Germany.  Regrettably these actions will lead to significant job losses in the UK and short  time working in Germany.  In addition the Group will continue to have discussions with its suppliers in order to reduce costs and will continue to seek further methods of achieving greater efficiencies within the Group’s operations.

As a result of the lower volumes, the intense pricing pressure, and the associated inventory write-downs the Group now expects to incur an operating loss for the full year.  The Group continues to review the carrying value of assets, and the result would be a significant non-cash impairment at the year-end, if market conditions persist.

The Group’s cash position remains positive and the above measures have been instigated to minimise cash outflows, and the Group expects to have a healthy cash balance at the end of the year.  Whilst the market conditions are currently difficult, the Board’s actions are a necessary response, designed to preserve the capabilities within the business.  The Group continues to believe that the medium-term outlook for solar installations remains positive and in the importance of protecting the Group’s capabilities and cash for the future.  The Group continues to review industry conditions on an ongoing basis.


SUSPENSION OF DECISION TO cancel mining rightRe-commencement of Central Rand GOld’s mining operations

The Minister of Mineral Resources of the Republic of South Africa (“the Minister”) has consented to the temporary suspension of her decision to cancel the mining right granted to Ferreira Estate and Investment Company Limited (“FEIC”), the registered holder of Central Rand Gold’s mining right under departmental reference number GP30/5/1/1/2/140MR (“Mining Right”).

The suspension of the Minister’s decision to cancel the Mining Right, which is welcomed by the management and staff of Central Rand Gold, is effective immediately and is enforced in terms of the order of court (“the Order”) granted by the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria (“High Court”) on 24 October 2011. A copy of the Order is available for download from the Company’s website: (“website”).

The effect of the Order means that mining operations can immediately be resumed as an interim arrangement while Central Rand Gold, on behalf FEIC, pursues final relief in the High Court to review and set aside the Minister’s decision to cancel the Mining Right pursuant to a notice delivered to FEIC on 22 September 2011. These review proceedings have already been instituted against the Minister and her departmental co‑respondents, as advised in the announcement dated 13 October 2011.

The Minister and her co-respondents have given notice of their intention to oppose the review application, which must take its course in terms of part B of the Notice of Motion, which is also available for download from the Company’s website.

FEIC is currently awaiting the record of proceedings before the Minister (“record”) which resulted in her decision to cancel the Mining Right, together with such reasons therefore. The aforesaid record and reasons, which the Minister is required by law or may desire to give, must be dispatched within 15 court days of the above Order.

After receipt of the record, FEIC will have an opportunity to supplement its founding papers. Thereafter, the Minister and her co-respondents will become obliged to deliver their answering affidavits within 10 court days after receipt of these amended founding papers.

Further updates regarding the status of the litigation will be announced upon each material milestone leading up to a hearing date and the final outcome of the proceedings.

Update 16th January 2012 Price has now recovered to 1p plus, and mining rights have been restored. See link below.


We have established five key priorities for the business in the short-term:

1.   Agree re-financing plan.

We are in constructive dialogue with the banks both to maintain appropriate headroom against our banking covenants and put in place refinancing facilities beyond their current maturity of December 2013.

2.   Invest behind 8 ‘Power Brands’.

We have identified 8 ‘Power Brands’ that we feel have the best growth prospects going forward.  These are Ambrosia, Batchelor’s, Bisto, Hovis, Loyd Grossman, Mr.Kipling, Oxo and Sharwood’s.  By focusing our resources behind these brands, we will drive the future growth of the Group.

3.   Improve sales and marketing execution.

We will move away from concentrating too much on short-term tactical trading activities. We will work more collaboratively with our customer partners to deliver category growth through greater and more focused product innovation, improved in-store marketing, promotional planning and other brand-building initiatives.

4.   Reduce the size of our portfolio.

To enable us to focus our resources on our 8 Power Brands, we will actively seek to dispose of businesses.  This will also allow us to deleverage.

5.   Right-size and reduce our cost base.

As a consequence of reducing the scope of our business, we will significantly exceed the £20m cost saving target by 2013 that we announced at the Half Year.

Further details about future plans will be shared in early 2012 at our Full Year results presentation.

Q3 Trading Update

Our performance in Q3 has been significantly below expectations.  While market trends have improved, we have under-performed versus the market.  Our volumes have yet to fully recover from the slower than expected re-building of in-store presence following a customer dispute earlier in the year.  Additionally, the Q3 promotional programme has not delivered the results expected, reflecting an intensely competitive consumer environment. In the three months to 30 September 2011, Group sales were £477m, down 3.6% on the prior year. Volumes were down 8.0% in the quarter with price and mix contributing 4.4%. This represents a loss of market share of around 1.9pp in value and 2.1pp in volume.  Premier Foods’ non-branded sales were up 1.2%, whereas branded sales were down 6.0% reflecting a market shift towards non-branded products.

Update for 11 November.

Having recently reported that banks are listening and with stakes bought from Norway, the SP has risen dramatically.

Looks like this one could survive.


Cosalt plc

(” Cosalt” or “the Group”)


The Board of Cosalt announces that the Group’s trading for the year to 31 December 2011 is expected to be significantly lower than the Board’s previous expectations.

The delayed sale of the Marine division earlier in the year and the resulting pressure on cashflow has had an adverse effect on the margins of its Offshore Division (both in the UK and in Norway) and has also delayed the rollout of the South East contract in the Group’s Workwear division. The Board has instigated a full review of the Group’s operations and future funding requirements, which is ongoing.

The Group’s lenders have been made aware of the position, although on the basis of the findings to date, the Group is not in breach of its banking covenants as tested at 30 September 2011. The Board will continue to update the market as necessary.

Update 17th November

Derisory offer from None Executive Chairman

The Board of Cosalt confirms that it has received an approach from Mr. David Ross, the Company’s Non-executive Chairman, which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the entire issued share capital of the Company. In the context of the continuing difficulties facing the Company and the challenging funding environment, Mr Ross believes that the Company may be more readily recapitalised and moved forward as a private business and has indicated that he would be prepared to pay 0.1 pence for each ordinary share in issue.  Mr Ross has also confirmed his ongoing support for the Company, in which Mr Ross’s family has had an interest for over 50 years, and is currently providing debt funding to the Company alongside Cosalt’s banking partners.  Mr Ross has also indicated that should an offer be put forward and he acquire control of Cosalt, it is his intention to provide additional capital investment to expand the Group’s existing businesses for the benefit of the Group’s customers and other stakeholders.

Full text included in the link below.

Offer has been increased but shareholders are still unhappy



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