Results in line with Board’s expectations, restructuring exercise complete, significant increase in dividend, well-positioned to target growth

Northgate plc (“Northgate”, the “Company” or the “Group”) announces its preliminary results for the year ended 30 April 2013.

Financial Highlights

• Refinancing successfully completed, leading to significant reduction in interest charges going forward and increased operational and financial flexibility;

• Net underlying cash generation of £92.6m (2012 – £138.2m) with closing net debt(2) of £362.7m (2012 – £371.3m) after a net cash outflow of £39.1m relating to the April 2013 refinancing;

• Final dividend proposed of 6.0p per share giving a 7.3p dividend in respect of the full year (2012 – 3.0p), representing a 143% increase on the prior year;

• Return on capital employed 11.8% (2012 – 13.1%);

• Underlying profit before taxation £49.5m (2012 – £59.7m);

• Loss before taxation £11.4m after incurring £54.0m of exceptional financing costs (2012 – profit of £46.0m);

• Underlying basic earnings per share 29.2p (2012 – 31.5p);

• Basic earnings per share (5.5)p (2012 – 30.4p).

Operational Highlights

• Commercial restructuring completed in the UK;

• UK branch expansion plan commenced with three new sites opened in the year;

• Underlying pricing improvement of 2% in the UK and reduction of 1% in Spain;

• Average utilisation of 88% in the UK (2012 – 89%) and 90% in Spain (2012 – 90%);

• Closing fleet of 49,900 in the UK (2012 – 52,900) and 35,100 in Spain (2012 – 38,400);

• Continued strong used vehicle markets in both the UK and Spain.

Bob Mackenzie, Chairman, commented:

“Improvements implemented over the past four years have established a strong financial and operational foundation for the Group. Whilst we will maintain our focus on key disciplines of asset management, cash generation and cost control, we aim to maximise returns in both countries and will target growth in the UK where the appropriate return exists.

The Group has begun the new financial year in line with the Board’s expectations and we are confident that it is well placed to deliver significant value to shareholders.”

Full statement and results attached.

There will be a presentation to analysts at 9.30am today at Numis, 5th floor, LSE building, 10 Paternoster Square, London EC4M 7LT.

For further information, please contact:

Northgate plc 01325 467558
Bob Contreras, Chief Executive
Chris Muir, Group Finance Director

MHP Communications 020 3128 8753
Andrew Jaques
Barnaby Fry
Simon Hockridge
Rosa Smith

See the full results announcement