SHAREHOLDERS in Qualceram Shires, the listed bathroom suite manufacturer, will be left with nothing following a deal which will see an investor take over four of the group's operating subsidiaries.|
|Qualceram to go in to liquidation
|Qualceram lands in hot water after the ups and downs of past few months
|Qualceram Shires shares suspended
In a market update issued on March 20th, Qualceram confirmed that trading
remains challenging and that discussions with its landlords and bankers are
ongoing. The negotiations with the group's main landlords and bankers have yet to reach a conclusion and are described as challenging. Although the group has not ruled out a successful conclusion to these talks, it is now examining all "appropriate options". The group will provide a further update as and when appropriate.|
|Qualceram Shires reports worsening conditions
Cinema moguls up Qualceram stake to 12.3pc
|Todays rns suggests that they may have reached the end of the road.
Sorry for anyone still holding|
|Qualceram Shires slumps after takeover discussions end
|Qualceram confirms end to takeover talks
|SHORT OF THE YEAR - 15p on the cards quickly.|
|Qualceram shares fall 10pc as housing slowdown hits bathroom specialist
|Qualceram first-half profits down on last year
BATHROOM FITTINGS company Qualceram warned yesterday that first-half profits would be 30 per cent less than the 1.6 million it reported last year.
In a statement issued to the stock exchange, Qualceram said that the building slowdown in Ireland and Britain and sterling's decline against the euro had cut 30 per cent off its turnover in the first three months of the year.
The company said that falling sales were having an "associated impact" on its trading results.
"Current trading has followed the pattern of the first quarter to 31st March 2008," Qualceram said in its statement.
"Accordingly, the group expects group turnover for the half-year to 30th June 2008 to decline by approximately 30 percentage points compared to the first half of 2007."
Irish-based and Dublin-listed Qualceram has businesses in Ireland and Britain, where it owns Shires, the bathroom and toilet fittings manufacturer.
Much of the company's sales depend on supplying builders of new homes, so turnover is suffering as a result of the downturn in residential construction.
Qualceram said that market conditions in both countries remained challenging.
"In particular, a significantly lower level of housing starts, in Ireland and the UK, together with the weaker economic climate driven by an uncertain European interest rate environment and difficulties in the financial markets, has materially impacted on sales of the group's bathroom products."
The company said that it was trying to combat this by expanding its business into markets where it has not had a significant presence up to now.
"During the second half of 2008 the group expects to develop business in the DIY sector and other retail areas," the statement said.
"In addition, new designs and an efficient cost base allows it to compete strongly for existing business."
Qualceram's statement also confirmed that it had received an "unsolicited approach" last March. "Since that time the board, in conjunction with its corporate advisers, have undertaken a process to evaluate that initial approach. This process is ongoing," the statement concluded.
The company did not name its potential suitor, but it is understood to be a potential trade buyer from outside Ireland.|
|Anyone looking at these at the moment - even with the warning eps are forecast at about 6 or 7p, and the property sale going thru looks to be worth about 80p or 90p a share in cash ( although they will have to get alternative premises) - am I reading this right - looks like a bargain at present levels?|
Shareholders in Qualceram Shires voted in favour of the disposal of Arklow property at an EGM yesterday but this did not stop them falling 4.9pc by the finish.|
|Next two months will be crucial for Qualceram Shires
The next two months will be crucial in determining how bathroom fittings group Qualceram Shires performs over the full year, according to chief executive John O'Loughlin.
After Qualceram yesterday revealed a 7.3 per cent decline in net profit in the six months to the end of June, Mr O'Loughlin said the Irish market remained very challenging.
He said the slowdown in the housing market had not led to a resurgence in the renovation sector as anticipated and, even though consumer sentiment remained strong, the market was still tough.
"We will be keeping a close eye on September and October," he said, adding that so far this year he had seen no real change in the market. He also said pricing pressure remained strong, but he believed things may now have bottomed out.
Qualceram reported net profit of 1.6 million in the first half, down from 1.8 million in the same period last year. Turnover slipped 3.8 per cent to 50 million.
In Ireland, turnover was down 11 per cent to 20.8 million, while in Britain it increased marginally to 59.9 million. Turnover in export markets was up 18 per cent at 3.3 million.
Operating expenses fell 4 per cent to 13.7 million and Mr O'Loughlin said he had identified further cost-cutting opportunities.
Qualceram last week announced the sale of its 13-acre headquarters site in Arklow, Co Wicklow, to a property fund for 31 million. Mr O'Loughlin said yesterday the company was in advanced talks to purchase a new property, although declined to give any details, except to say it would be bought using existing cash. As of the end of June, debt stood at 20.9 million.
Qualceram will remain at the current site for the next 2½ years|
|Housing slowdown hits Qualceram sales
|Rates rises hitting Qualceram sales
Tuesday, 12 June 2007 12:02
The chairman of bathroom products maker Qualceram has told shareholders that trading in the first four months of the year has been affected by rising interest rates and the housing slowdown in the Irish market.
Despite this, Peter Addison described the performance as 'satisfactory'.
Mr Addison also told the AGM a tender process for the company's existing 13-acre site in Arklow, Co Wicklow, had not produced 'an acceptable offer', but the group was in talks with interested parties on a number of proposals.
Qualceram is planning to re-locate to an alternative site in the area. Mr Addison said the sale process may take 'a number of months', but it expected to be able to move over the next two years.|
Irish House Market: Treading the spectrum between blind faith and calamity howling|
|Friday, 4 May 2007 11:51
PROPERTY CONCERNS HIT STOCKS - Concerns about the property and construction sector have been spreading to the stock market in recent months. Shares in some banks and building companies have been slipping.
Yesterday cement supplier Readymix said it found orders by housebuilders were falling. Over the past three months shares in builders merchants Grafton are down 7%, Mc Inerney has fallen 4% and bathroom maker Qualceram is down 14%. And the banks have been affected too due to concerns about growth in mortgages. Bank of Ireland shares are down 7% and Irish Life and Permanent has fallen 10%.
Liam Boggan of Merrion Stockbrokers said that the impact of rising ECB rates and concerns over affordability of housing have affected the stock market in recent months.|
|Qualceram completes 2m freehold deal
Tuesday April 24th 2007
BATHROOM suite maker Qualceram Shires has completed the contract process to purchase from the Arklow Harbour Commissioners the freehold interest relating to part of the group's facility at South Quay, Arklow for 2m. The purchase has been approved by the Department of Transport but requires the approval of Qualceram shareholders.
Qualceram already owns the freehold interest in the remainder of the 13-acre Arklow site which is zoned WDZ (Waterfront Development Zone), which provides for mixed-use development such as hotel, recreation and residential purposes.
The group intends to sell its Arklow site and to relocate to an alternative site in the area, with the objective of developing the new site into a modern manufacturing and international distribution centre for its global business.
Qualceram's facility in Arklow is located on 13 acres of coastline property which has been zoned for residential, recreation and hotel development. Until now, the group owned one-third of the site, with the remaining two-thirds on a 900-year lease from the Arklow Harbour Commission. The site will be put to tender this week, with the final date for receipt of tenders set for June 7.
According to Davy analyst Robert Gardiner, the full site could potentially be worth 39m.
"With the one-third that Qualceram already owns on the books at 8m and having paid 2m for the remaining two-thirds, the site could be worth 29m, or 1.31 per share, to Qualceram. This is before the costs of relocation and capital gains tax."|
BATHWARE company Qualceram Shires returned to the black last year. It turned in pre-tax profits of 3.9m in 2006 as against a loss of 5.1m in 2005.
Despite last year's profit recovery, the fact remains that Qualceram's shares have been an absolute dog since the company first listed on the Stock Exchange a decade ago. Floated at IR150p (1.90) in April 1997, the shares traded at 2.06 last week.
Indeed, 12 months ago you could have bought the shares for just 1.28.
Even after the recent recovery in the share price, Qualceram is still a Stock Exchange minnow with a capitalisation of just 45m. If this is the best the group can manage after 10 years as a quoted company, then it should be taken private.
Qualceram had operating (pre-interest) profits of 4.1m last year. When you add the company's debts of 19.9bn and a pension deficit of 5.2bn, the total enterprise value is 70m. At over 17 times operating profits this would, on the face of it, make a take-private prohibitively expensive. Look again.
Three executive directors, chief executive John O'Loughlin, sales and marketing director John Byrne and technical director Tom Byrne between them own almost 42 per cent of the shares. This would knock over 18m off the cost of buying out the outside shareholders. Throw in the proceeds of the likely sale of the group's 11-acre site in the Arklow Waterfront Development Zone, and the net cost of any take-private shrinks to a very doable 30m or less.|
|Definitely what I would call a quiet money share this....interesting that Gartmore added a further 200k last week though and hold some 15% of the company.....that must be telling us something about future prospects here....
Qualceram Shires PLC
22 August 2003
Qualceram Shires PLC ('the Company') received notification today by a letter
dated 18 August 2003 from Gartmore Investment Management plc, that its
reportable interest in the Company has increased to 3,260,105 ordinary shares
(representing 14.71% of the issued ordinary share capital of the Company).
The beneficial owners, and their respective holdings, are as follows:
Fund Managing Company No. of Ordinary Shares Beneficial Owner
Gartmore Fund Managers Limited 915,506 Gartmore UK & Irish Smaller Companies
Gartmore Investment Limited 2,068,976 Gartmore Irish Growth Fund Plc
Gartmore Investment Limited 275,623 Gartmore Absolute Growth & Income Fund
|Well whatever the prosects are for this one there have been some very good volumes today with a nice protected 75,000 trade following an earlier 80k trade at the mid.|