Regulatory News

Trading and COVID-19 Update & Notice of Results

10 June 2020

The Company, following its reverse takeover of OTAQ Group Limited ('OTAQ'), the marine technology products and solutions group for the global aquaculture and offshore oil and gas industries, announces a trading update for the OTAQ business for the 12 months ended 31 March 2020 ahead of entering its close period, and notice of its results announcement.  

During the period, Hertsford Capital Plc was a cash shell, successfully completing the reverse takeover of OTAQ Group Limited on 31 March 2020.  As a result of the acquisition and consolidation of OTAQ, the Company will report results reflecting the ongoing operations of OTAQ.

Trading and COVID-19 Update:

The Board is pleased to announce that OTAQ's trading in the period has been slightly ahead of market expectations.  The results for the 12 months to 31 March 2020 will reflect a doubling of revenues, a positive adjusted EBITDA* and net cash of approximately £3m. OTAQ has continued its product development initiatives and broadening of its target markets in pursuit of its ambition to build a significant business in the global aquaculture market.  

The new financial year has coincided with the practicalities of operating in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.  OTAQ was given special dispensation for employees to be allowed to continue the supply of critical products and services and has stringently followed government guidance on working practices and social distancing for the safety and wellbeing of its staff and customers.  New working protocols and restrictions resulting from the measures taken by the business community as a whole have resulted in only minor limitations on OTAQ's service delivery and maintenance support to existing clients, and its ability to pursue new business opportunities that are continuing to emerge in both Europe and South America.  Largely the limitations have been down to an inability to travel and the lack of available accommodation.

OTAQ Aquaculture, which represents approximately 60% of Group revenue, has started the year well with c.63% of FY2021 revenues secured as at the end of May.  OTAQ Connectors is trading in-line with the Board's expectations but OTAQ Offshore is exposed to the oil and gas markets which are showing signs of slowing due to the declining oil price and the broader limitations on the oil and gas sector resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board believes it is too early to evaluate the ultimate impact on profits of the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, the Board is satisfied that OTAQ has the resources to navigate the disruptions over the medium to long term as it has long-term contracted revenues and cash resources of £3 million at 31 March 2020.

Notice of Results:

The Company expects to announce its results for the 12 months to 31 March 2020 in the latter half of July, subject to completion of the audit.

*[being adjusted for the elimination of the costs of the reverse takeover and non-cash charges relating to share options issued]

 

Contacts:

Hertsford Capital PLC Via Walbrook
Alex Hambro, Non-Executive Chairman
Phil Newby, Chief Executive Officer
Dowgate Capital Ltd (Broker & Adviser) 020 3903 7715
James Serjeant
Walbrook PR Ltd Tel: 020 7933 8780 or O[email protected]
Tom Cooper/Nick Rome/Nicholas Johnson 07971 221972 or
07748 325236 or 07884 664 686

 

About OTAQ:

OTAQ is a highly innovative marine technology company focused on the marine aquaculture, offshore energy, renewables and oceanographic research sectors. It has 36 employees in four worldwide locations: Lancaster, Aberdeen and Ulverston in the UK and Puerto Montt in Chile.

OTAQ's aquaculture technology portfolio includes a market-leading intelligent acoustic deterrent system, designed to protect marine-based aquaculture sites from predation, with multiple systems deployed in Scotland, Chile, Finland and Russia.

OTAQ also has significant experience in the design & manufacture of underwater connectors, penetrators & communication systems for the off shore oil and gas markets. The Oceansense leak detection system has a global reputation as the industry standard solution and has been deployed successfully on hundreds of sites.  The Dragonfish laser measurement system is  becoming recognised as one of the most accurate underwater precision laser measurement systems available..

OTAQ seeks to develop and continuously improve its products using its specialist mechanical, electronic and software engineers with decades of experience in bringing underwater technology products to market.

OTAQ is proud to be fully ISO 9001;2015 accredited through DNV-GL. ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised quality management system and demonstrates OTAQ's commitment to consistency, continual improvement and customer satisfaction. The certification also demonstrates its ability to consistently deliver products and services to market whilst meeting statutory and regulatory requirements by applying an effective quality management system.