Operational update

AIM: FOX                                                                                                                          03 August 2015

FOX MARBLE HOLDINGS PLC

(“Fox Marble” or the “Company”)

Operational update

Fox Marble, the AIM listed company focused on marble quarrying and finishing in Kosovo and the Balkans region, is pleased to provide the following operational update.

  • The order book is currently at €2.8 million, of which €1.4 million is now expected to be realised within 2015. 

  • Revenues for the half year are lower than expected at €110k. The Company received during the half year an advance payment for marble of €250k from Banyan Stone and, since the period end, the Company has processed and made available for collection part of an order of €530k worth of marble which is bound for St George Plc, the luxury homes division of Berkeley Homes Plc.
  • This shortfall of half year revenues against expectations is due to slower than expected completion of deliveries of our order book as a result of delays in accessing the new Malesheva quarry (“Malesheva 2”) containing supplies of Illyric White marble and slower than expected development of our Sivec quarries.
  • We are pleased to announce that we expect to access the Malesheva 2 quarry containing the popular Illyric White marble imminently and are preparing to move on to the site without delay. The Company is very positive about the quality of stone within this quarry, and has customer demand for deliveries of the first material which is expected within H2 2015.
  • Development of our Sivec quarries in Macedonia has been subject to delays as the Company seeks to access higher grades of material. The Company has negotiated with a neighbouring property through which we believe we can access higher grades of Sivec more rapidly than directly through our licensed area. We are confident that this will provide a faster route to realising sales of the material.
  • At the Company’s factory, we have begun installation of the marble gang saws and a new high voltage substation has been installed by KEDS, the Kosovan power company, to provide power directly to the factory site.  Prime Minister Isa Mustafa of Kosovo visited the factory site in May along with seven of his cabinet Ministers and the British Ambassador (H.E. Ruairi O’Connell) in attendance and declared his support for the Company and its plans for employment and commerce in Kosovo.
  • We have, however, been informed of a fire at Prometec SrL, the company responsible for supplying and refurbishing two major pieces of machinery due to be installed at the factory.  The fire has destroyed the entire Prometec SrL stock, including the equipment due to be shipped to Fox Marble. By cost this amounts to just under 25% of the budgeted machinery for the factory. Whilst the direct financial loss to the Company is expected to be minimal, as the equipment is insured, this will cause further delays to the start of operations at the factory while alternative machines are sourced. This, in turn, will impact the expected full year revenues for 2015. In the meantime, plans have been made and implemented to process block marble into slabs at processing plants in Macedonia at specially reduced rates with particular reference to local production of Sivec. The first slabs of Sivec from this arrangement are available for collection by the customer.
  • In connection with the sales agency agreement with Zhong Shengdestone Co Ltd (“ZSC”) announced in December 2014, the Company welcomed a delegation from China to Kosovo in May to inspect the quarries. ZSC’s preliminary order, which included blocks of Sivec, Flora and Breccia Paridisea arrived in China this month. Following the visit, Fox Marble has opened a new Flora bench in our Cervenilla quarry at the request of the delegation in order to provide a dedicated supply of the material to meet expected demand.
  • The Company’s cash balance at 30 June 2014 was €5.6 million.

Chris Gilbert, CEO, commented:

"Whilst the first half has been disappointing in terms of sales and we have had some unforeseen operational frustrations, we remain confident in our objective of being a major international supplier of high quality marble. In order to underpin the development of our sales channels we have appointed three additional experienced marble sales staff over the last few months, and we expect that this will also bear fruit as we bring on the production of Illyric White marble from Malesheva 2 and larger volumes from the Sivec quarries in Macedonia." 

For more information on Fox Marble please visit www.foxmarble.net or contact:

 

Fox Marble Holdings plc

Chris Gilbert, Chief Executive Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7380 0999

Candice Sutherland, Chief Financial Officer

 

Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (Nomad)

Avi Robinson / Liam Murray

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7148 7900

 

Brandon Hill Capital Limited (Broker)

Jonathan Evans

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3463 5000

 

Yellow Jersey PR

Dominic Barretto

Kelsey Traynor

Tel: +44 (0) 77 6853 7739

Tel: +44 (0) 77 9900 3220

 

Notes to Editors

Fox Marble Holdings Plc is an AIM quoted natural stone extraction and production Company operating in Kosovo and the Balkans region, with headquarters in the United Kingdom.

Established in 2011, Fox Marble has access to over 300 million cubic metres of premium quality marble and completed a maiden JORC resource indicating an in-situ valuation of approximately Euro 16.5 billion.  As announced in October 2013, it now has four quarries in operation and in August 2014 it completed the acquisition of the Prilep Omega Sivec Quarry, thus increasing its exposure to the highly desirable Sivec marble.