31 July 2018
Fox Marble Holdings plc
(“Fox Marble” or the “Company”)
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 ahead of the publication of its unaudited interim results for 6 months to 30 June 2018 which are anticipated to be notified on 25 September 2018.
Sales for the six months to 30 June 2018 are €614,000 (2017 - €329,000), a significant increase compared with the same period in the previous year. In addition, the Company has started the second half of the year strongly and expects to see continued good revenue growth through the balance of the year.
The newly installed state-of-the-art Computer Numerical Control (“CNC”) machine has allowed the company to expand its cut to size and shape capabilities for its own marble. The machine is capable of automatically processing many varied shapes and thicknesses of material from slabs to small blocks, including 1,500 square metres of marble tiles per day. The CNC machine was supplied by Gravellona Machine Marmo, one of the leading manufacturers of dimensional stone cutting and polishing machinery based in Northern Italy. The machine is the only one of its kind in the Balkans.
This has allowed the Company to win and complete several large bespoke cut to size tile orders in the first half of this year, including:
3,000 square metres of “cut-to-size” Alexandrian White tiles to a large manufacture in Greece, Rekalis G Gregarios Marble. This order consists of more than 8,000 tiles, each measuring 60x60 cm and weighing 250 tonnes in total.
7,500 square metres of “cut-to-size” 60cm x 60cm Alexandrian White tiles to large scale retailer based in Mumbai in India.
Following additional capital expenditure, new equipment has been delivered to the quarries, and despite an extended winter break arising from a late thaw, production was an encouraging 5,429 tonnes over the 6 months to June 2018 (2017 – 3,817 tonnes). We expect production levels to continue to improve over the remainder of 2018.
Sales of block marble are again focused primarily on Illirico Selene and Alexandrian White material.
Fox is pleased to announce that in July it sold 300 tonnes of its Illirico Selene marble to a new Chinese customer following a visit to the quarry site. The customer has indicated their intention to take a further 300 tonnes of this material each month for the next 12 months. This is the first significant order from China and represents a breakthrough in that market. Fox understands that this material is for a project that its customer is supplying and will require a minimum of 5,000 tonnes to complete the project.
In June 2018 the Company announced that it had completed the delivery of over 2,000 tonnes of marble to Simsekler Mermer Company (“Simsekler”) with Fox Marble supplying 850 tonnes of marble to Simsekler in the current year, thereby fulfilling the original agreement. Simsekler’s latest purchase of over 600 tonnes of block marble represents the largest single order that the Company has completed since it opened its quarries in 2012. Fox Marble is now well placed to meet the demand for an additional minimum quantity of 2,000 tonnes.
The Company has recently opened a new showroom for its material in London. The showroom exhibits slabs from the complete range of Fox Marble stone, including Illirico Selene, Illirico Bianco, Rosso Cait, Breccia Paradisea, and Alexandrian White. It is intended that the showroom will support the marketing of material to projects in the United Kingdom and Northern Europe.
The showroom is conveniently located for European sales being less than 10 miles from Heathrow Airport and 35 miles from Stanstead Airport. Located at 2 Courtenay Road, East Lane, Wembley HA9 7ND, it is also very close to North Wembley Station, and can be visited by appointment.
In addition, a natural stone cleansing plinth designed by Studio Juju and carved from Fox Marble stone was recently featured in an exhibition by Wallpaper which toured the Far East. The altar was carved from a single block of Alexandrian White marble, whose fine dolomitic structure lends itself to intricate carving, and featured one raised and one sunken basin.
The strong demand for the Company’s range of white and grey stone has lead to the need for additional capital expenditure to increase production in the quarries as well as to finance increased working capital requirements now that the factory is operating at higher capacity.
The Company is pleased to announce that the holders of the series 3 and 5 Loan notes have subscribed for an additional £300,000 of Loan notes on the same terms as previously announced.
The Company’s cash balance as at 27 July 2018 amounted to €289,000.
Chris Gilbert, CEO of Fox Marble, commented: “We are pleased to update the market on the progress made in the first half of this year. Additional capital expenditure and the installation of new machinery has enhanced our production and processing capabilities, enabling us to complete and win a number of new sales orders. As we move into the second half of the year our focus will remain on capitalising on growth, increasing our capacity and enhancing our product range in order to strengthen our position in the market.”
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
Fiona Hadfield, Finance Director
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7380 0999
Brandon Hill Capital (Broker)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3463 5000
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (Nomad)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7213 0880
Yellow Jersey PR (PR & IR)
Tel: +44 (0) 7825 916 715
Tel: +44 (0) 7946 424 651
Notes to Editors:
Fox Marble (AIM: FOX), is a marble production, processing and distribution company in Kosovo and the Balkans region.
Its marble products, which includes Illirico Bianco, Illirico Selene, Grigio Argento and are gaining traction globally both to international wholesale companies as well as being supplied directly into luxury residential properties. In the UK these include among others St George’s Homes and Capital and Counties Plc’s Lillie Square development. In Sydney, Australia Rosso Cait, Alexandrian White and Breccia Paradisea marble have been used in what is expected to be Australia’s most expensive residential property. These sales serve to demonstrate the desirability of Fox’s premium marble products as the stone of choice in some of the most prestigious and expensive residential developments around the world.
Fox Marble holds 40 year mining licences for six separate marble quarries with a maiden JORC resource indicating an in-situ valuation of approximately Euro 16.5 billion. Fox has taken three of the six sites into production (the Drini and Maleshevë quarries, both in Kosovo and from the Prilep Quarry in Macedonia) and continues to increase production. Notably, Fox has access to over 300 million cubic metres (over 1bn tonnes) of premium quality marble.
Marble demand continues to grow with stable pricing, predominantly driven by the construction and real-estate industries, on which Fox is looking to capitalise.