Good morning!

I'll make this an earlier, but shorter report than usual, as I have a working lunch in London to discuss the future of stockbroking. So I'll be mainly listening, but chucking in a few points of my own which may not make me very popular - e.g. why do we need stockbrokers and market makers at all? All that's really needed is an electronic order book for every stock, with individual membership for investors within a central clearing house, to do all the admin.

Anyway, before I start WWIII over lunch, let's have a look at a few results & trading statements.

Spaceandpeople (LON:SAL)

Here is the latest in my series of CEO interviews. Yesterday I chatted to Matthew Bending, CEO of Spaceandpeople (LON:SAL) . I think his answers were very open, and interesting. See what you think - the audio is here.


Fishing Republic (LON:FISH)

Share price: 30p (down 6.3% today)
No. shares: 26.9m
Market cap: £8.1m

Results y/e 31 Dec 2015 - this is a small chain (7 shops in N.England) selling fishing tackle & equipment (55% of turnover), and a website (45% of turnover). It floated in Jun 2015, and this is given as a reason why profits barely increased - up from £295k in 2014 to £305k in 2015 on a pre-exceptional basis. £299k of exceptional costs took it down to a whisker above breakeven for calendar 2015.

As a retail roll-out, with online growth too, it looks superficially interesting. However, the glaring anomaly in the accounts is the extremely slow stock turn. In my retail days, we tried to turn (i.e. sell all, and replace with new) stock about every 6 weeks. In the case of FISH, its stock turn is more than a year!

So the P&L shows revenue of £4.1m, with a cost of sales of £2.2m. So the £2.2m figure is the stock (at cost) which was sold in the year. This figure is comparable with the stock at cost figure on the balance sheet, which should be no more than a quarter of that - i.e. c.£550k or below.

Stock on the balance sheet is actually a gigantic (in this context) £2.4m. That's bonkers! Basically this company is just buying warehouses & shops full of stock, which then sits there gathering…

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