WIN’s profit is up and down

The £557,000 post-tax profit reported last month by the AIM listed mobile technology specialist WIN was reassuring in the current climate, but does not in itself offer any justification for the sizeable share stakes boughtin the company over recent months.

Private equity investor ISIS EP has built up a near 18% stake in WIN’s share capital and Oxygen8 Communications (the privately owned provider of interactive media, mobile and voice solutions) holds over 9% (see Oxygen8 increases stake in WIN to near 10%).

Depending on which figures you choose to focus on, WIN either performed better than 2008 or worse – a choice that underlines why the Government and accounting rule-makers need to tidy up the current confusion.

Sales were up by 9.8% in 2009 and the post-tax profit showed a marked improvement on the £364,000 loss reported in 2008. But the so-called “underlying” profit – a measure that has no statutory authority – was actually down by 13%. This is because WIN had suffered a £1.4 million asset impairment charge in 2008 which arguably distorted the published profit trend. In WIN’s case the decline reflects tougher competition in some areas and the more difficult economic climate.

The company had a solid balance sheet last December with over £3 million of cash in the bank.

Announcing the results, incoming chairman Michael de Kare-Silver said: “We are on track to meet our expectations for 2010”, whatever they might be. Meanwhile chief financial officer Lance Moir is stepping down after three years in post and a successor has not yet been appointed. Moir was previously a lecturer at Cranfield School of Management and succeeded Mark Paver who left unexpectedly in 2007.

© Fintellect Ltd

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