Good morning, it's Paul here with Friday's SCVR.

Today's report is now finished.

Catch up day! Today I'll be writing about;

Sosandar (LON:SOS) - interesting points from my call with management

Robinson (LON:RBN) - results from Tuesday

Sureserve (LON:SUR) - trading update from Weds

Van Elle Holdings (LON:VANL) - final results from Thurs


Sosandar (LON:SOS)

15.88p - mkt cap £30.5m

(I hold)

Call with management -

Subjectively, management struck me as more confident & calm than previously.

Key points;

Marketing - the TV ads in autumn, and early spring, lead to a large number of new sign ups, registering interest on Sosandar's website. These then often convert into sales at a later date, as emails & direct mail catalogues stimulate buying interest. Hence sales growth this year has been boosted by last year's marketing spend. Database now much bigger, so can utilise free channels (like email), and social media posts. Hence marketing activity ongoing, but drastically scaled back in spending terms, to conserve cash. Still getting a decent (but reduced) number of new sign ups on website. Intention is to cautiously expand marketing spend in Sept onwards for peak season. Likely to be about half level of last year. Will flex marketing activities depending on what works best at the time. Was overly reliant on Facebook ads, broadening it now. Will split marketing spend in future about a third each in: social media, direct mail, and TV. Customer acquisition cost is c.£40 - 1 year payback (2 orders).

NB - cost of marketing is now falling, as there's less competition for online ad spend, and TV, due to competitors reining in their marketing spend.

Cash burn - as stated in RNS, virtually no cash burn from May-July. I (mistakenly) thought that creditors must have been stretched in order to achieve this (e.g. VAT, payroll taxes). CFO confirmed that there has been no deferral of VAT, and only a low amount of other taxes deferred (with agreement of HMRC), under £100k. This is very significant. It means the business genuinely ran at cash breakeven for 3 months May-July. True, those conditions were not normal - e.g. a lot of staff furloughed (most are now back at work), and cash is likely to be needed to stock up for the peak…

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