Is this company still alive? Its share price has been stuck in the 2-3p range for the last year – a far cry from the 66p of five years ago – and the 2011/12 annual report appears to hold out little hope of early salvation.

Ten Alps (TAL), founded by TV entrepreneur Alex Connock and ‘Band Aid’ creator Sir Bob Geldof, has three core businesses – TV (makes well regarded documentaries for BBC, ITV etc), a B2B publishing operation(nearly three quarters of revenues) and a once admired but loss-making Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) division.

TAL lost £21.8m in 2010/11 and £4.0m in 2011/12. At an Ebitda level it did no better than break even on revenues of £43.5m in 2011/12.

The highly paid Connock has resigned, most of the top management has been changed, and a new chairman has been hired. Overheads have been cut, and the company has just about stayed afloat by raising £7.7m in two highly dilutive share placings at 8p and 2.5p over the last 18 months, and writing off part of its bank debt.

TAL, with a market cap of £6.9m, starts 2012/13 with net assets of £9.15m, borrowings of £6.12m. and a big question mark over its future.

The B2B business holds the key to its recovery. But the combination of a weak UK economy and the difficulty of adapting to the rapid changes in the publishing sector, makes a rapid turnaround here seem unlikely.

The TV operation continues to win awards. But award winning ‘one-off’ documentaries are rarely very profitable, and are worth next to nothing in terms of repeat value. TAL does produce Benidorm ER, a TV soap based in a Spanish hospital which chronicles the stag and hen party alcohol-induced injuries and poolside tumbles of UK holidaymakers in Spain. But hard to believe that this is going to turn out to be a money spinner like Endemol’s Big Brother or Phil Redmond’s Brookside.

The smallest operation is the CSR division which has failed to translate its impressive client list (Siemens, Thames Water etc) into a profitable business model.

Last month TAL sold its Asian publishing businesses for a rock-bottom price of £600,000, and seems to have abandoned any hope of generating any money from SchoolsWorldTV, which it had re-launched from the ashes of…

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