Connect Group: Trading update 1st quarter 2011

Connect Group NV (Euronext Brussels: CONN) announces for the 1st quarter of 2011 sales of EUR 43.2 million and an operating result of EUR 1.383 million positive. In the comparable 1st quarter of 2010 sales were just EUR 32.0 million as a result of the components crisis, with an operating result of EUR 0.16 million negative.

The positive sales and results trend that began in the 3rd quarter of 2010 continued into the 1st quarter of 2011.

The order book at the end of the first quarter amounted to EUR 73.0 million, compared with EUR 71.2 million at the end of 2010. This extremely high figure is explained by the fact that, following the 2010 components crisis and events in Japan, a number of customers have placed orders early in order to build in maximum security that components can be delivered on time.  The order book is expected to reduce to a normal level in the coming months. Historically, the order book is approximately 1.5 quarters' sales.

Following the publication of the annual results for 2010 at the end of March 2010, all Connect Group bondholders decided to convert their bonds into shares. This increases the Connect Group’s equity by EUR 5 million and reduces its financial debt by 5 million Euro. This conversion will result in the issuance of 3,355,600 new shares with the same rights as existing shares, bringing the total number of issued shares to 10,290,024. This conversion was carried out on 5 May 2011.

As a result of this conversion the shareholders’ structure is as follows:

Shareholder name Number declared %
Huub Baren BVBA 2,166,155 21.05 %
QuaeroQ cvba 2,120,781 20.61 %
LRM NV 1,870,786 18.18 %
Luc Switten 426,369 4.14 %
Other below the reporting threshold 3,705,933 36.02 %
Total 10,290,024 100 %

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