Aveng - updated trading statement

Friday 14th August, 2015
Further to the general trading statement released on SENS on 11 June 2015, the Aveng Board of Directors wishes to provide specific guidance on the range of the expected decrease in headline earnings per share (?HEPS?) ahead of the release of its audited financial results for the twelve months ended 30 June 2015, in terms of paragraph 3.4 (b) of the JSE Listings Requirements.

Aveng shareholders are advised that in respect of the audited financial results for the twelve month ended 30 June 2015, the Group anticipates headline losses for the period to be between R550 million and R590 million, with basic losses expected to be between R430 million and R470 million. HEPS is likely to be a loss of between 137 cents per share and 147 cents per share, a decrease of between 222% and 231%, with EPS expected to be a loss of between 107 cents per share and 117 cents per share, a decrease of between 5% and 15%.

Reported headline earnings and basic (loss) for the comparative period (released on SENS on 26 August 2014) were R421 million and R(381) million respectively, while reported HEPS and EPS for the comparative period were 112.5 cents per share and a loss of 101.9 cents per share respectively.

In advising the guidance in the general trading statement of 11 June 2015, the Group highlighted challenging economic conditions in domestic and foreign markets, labour disruptions in the mining and steel sectors and higher than expected costs to complete certain contracts resulting in the Group announcing that its anticipated HEPS would decline by at least 50% compared to the comparative period's result, being a HEPS of at most 56.3 cents per share. Subsequently the following events have impacted this updated trading guidance:
* Additional provisions were raised relating to long-standing commercial claims that are under negotiation in Aveng Grinaker-LTA. These claims did not achieve sufficient progress by year end. While the Group remains confident of an acceptable commercial outcome, the increased uncertainty associated with protracted negotiation processes, resulted in this additional substantial provision.
* Although the Gouda wind farm in the Western Cape achieved its scheduled physical completion date, the unexpected low wind pattern for the specific period in the year caused a significant delay to the testing and technical compliance (sign-off) of the plant. This directly contributed in the failure to achieve the anticipated sign-off causing liquidated damages to be charged, resulting in an adverse impact on the financial results.
* Consistent with the practice adopted for its interim results, the Group has continued to conservatively recognise any increases in the deferred taxation assets for its South African business. Taking cognisance of the deterioration in market conditions during the budgeting and medium term forecasting process, the Group has taken a more prudent view thus reducing the initially anticipated deferred taxation assets recognised in Aveng Africa. Further, deferred taxation assets related to the discontinued Engineering business have not been recognised.

Management has considered the Group's operating cash flows, future funding requirements and commitments, available facilities and related covenants and despite the disappointing results, remain satisfied that these are considered adequate at this time and that there is no current need for additional capital.

Regulatory approval was granted on 12 August 2015 by the Competition Tribunal for the disposal of the majority of the Group's South African property portfolio, which is anticipated to be completed before the end of the first quarter of the 2016 financial year, in further support of the Group's liquidity position.

The Group's audited results for the year ended 30 June 2015 will be released on SENS on 18 August 2015 when the Group will be updating the market on its business in a presentation in Johannesburg on the same day, and in Cape Town on 19 August 2015. The presentation will be available for all stakeholders on the Group's website, www.aveng.co.za.
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