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RNS Number : 7715R

Appreciate Group PLC

02 July 2020

2 July 2020

Appreciate Group plc

Trading and financing update

Notice of Final Results

Appreciate Group plc (the 'Group'), the UK's leading multi-retailer redemption product provider to corporate and consumer markets, today provides an update on current trading and financing and notice of its final results.

Improved trading since year end

In our Year-End Trading Update, issued on 30 April 2020, we acknowledged the initial impact of lockdown by stating that "demand in our Corporate and Other Consumer areas is approximately 70% below last year."

We have seen trading gradually improve in the new financial year. Total billings have started to recover; they were down 47% year on year in May, and 35% down in June to give a year to date position of 48%.

We also stated in the Year-End Trading Update that our Christmas Savings business was currently 10% below the prior year and that "current cancellation rates [for our Christmas Savings business] are similar to previous years" and this has remained the case.

The Group is continuing to implement the remaining elements of the strategic business plan whilst accelerating its move to digital products. Combined with the actions we have taken to mitigate the impact of the lockdown on trading, we anticipate improved trading in the coming months and as lockdown is further eased.

Update on bank financing

As stated in the 30 April trading update, the Board has reviewed several financial scenarios of the potential impact of COVID-19 on the business and, in each of those scenarios, the Group retains positive free cash this financial year. Total billings are currently marginally ahead of our mid-range scenario and as at the end of June free cash stood at GBP18.8m.

We have commenced the bank financing exercise announced in our 30 April trading update, to provide the additional financial flexibility to accelerate our medium and long--term growth, as well as invest in the continued switch to digital. This process is progressing positively with initial meetings with banks having taken place and proposed terms are expected shortly.

Notice of final results

The Group intends to announce its final results for the year ended 31 March 2020 on 12 August 2020. This follows the announcement on 30 April 2020 in which the Group confirmed its intention to postpone issuing the results (initially expected to be issued on 17 June 2020), following FRC, FCA and AIM guidance on issuing annual audited accounts, and its desire to provide greater clarity around the impact of COVID--19 on current financial year performance.

Ian O'Doherty, Chief Executive Officer at Appreciate Group plc, said:

"We have seen a gradual recovery in trading, and we anticipate that this will continue as we move further away from the initial shock of lockdown. We have a clear strategy focused on a switch to digital products which will enable us to take advantage of the long term behavioural changes that COVID-19 is driving. We have a solid financial position and are confident that we will emerge strongly from this crisis."

For further information please contact:

END

For further information please visit https://www.appreciategroup.co.uk or contact:

 
 Appreciate Group plc    Liberum               MHP Communications 
                          (NOMAD and broker) 
 Andy Hammerton, Head    Richard Crawley       Reg Hoare / Katie 
  of Corporate Affairs    Jamie Richards        Hunt / Charles Hirst 
  Ian O'Doherty, CEO 
  Tim Clancy, CFO 
  Tel: 0151 653 1700      Tel: 020 3100 2222    Tel: 020 3128 8193 
                                                 Email: appreciategroup@mhpc.com 
 

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by Appreciate Group to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 ("MAR").

Notes to Editors:

Appreciate Group is one of the UK's leading gifting, pre-payment and engagement companies, and experts at creating joyful experiences and connecting people to the things in life they enjoy the most.

Everything Appreciate Group does is focused on creating more joy in the world, and it is proud to be trusted to help its customers create moments they can treasure and remember, whether they are giving, celebrating or rewarding.

Appreciate Group is a financial services business with a wide portfolio of brands which provide solutions for its consumer and business customers. Its consumer-facing brands meet a range of prepayment and gifting needs, while its business products help corporate customers reward and recognise their employees and clients.

Appreciate Group is home to many of the country's most-loved gifting, pre-payment and engagement solutions including Park Christmas Savings, Highstreetvouchers.com and Love2shop, and we are fast-becoming the home of digital innovation in gifting.

Whether it's saving towards the perfect family Christmas or celebrating with gift cards and vouchers, we create and supply products that millions of people trust when it comes to giving and receiving with family, friends or colleagues.

Park Christmas Savings: As the UK's largest family Christmas savings club, Park Christmas Savings has helped over 2.7 million families budget for Christmas on a short-term or year-round basis.

Love2shop: Love2shop offers gift cards and gift vouchers available to spend at stores and attractions across the UK. They are also used through our Love2shop Business Services providing corporate partners with incentives and rewards for their employees and clients.

Giftli: Giftli is a personalised gift card, available to spend online at over 60 brands. The card can be personalised through photos and a personalised message.

Select Digital Gift Card: The UK's first fully digital multi-retailer gift card, available to spend online or in-store through your mobile wallet.

Appreciate Group plc's shares are traded on AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange.

The Park Prepayments Protection Trust is designed to increase protection for customers' prepayments. The Trust has three directors, two of whom are independent of Appreciate. Details of the trust are set out here: https://www.getpark.co.uk/CORPORATE/declaration.pdf

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END

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July 02, 2020 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT)

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