20 April 2014

Antonov

AVOID

28/02/2003 Leslie Copeland

After more than a decade of existence, Antonov still cannot make any money. The company, which has created a new type of automatic gearbox, lost another £2m in the year to December on sales of £139,000. That brings its losses over the past 7 years alone to around £17m. Against this background, it is no surprise that it has appointed its advisers (in this case Brewin Dolphin) to raise further cash to 'fund the next phase of development'. Last year it raised £2.2m, of which only £878,000 is left. Aside from the sales and profits figures, there were other 'positives' in the full year statement. Chief amongst them was that Honda has acquired a 'non-exclusive licence' to certain Antonov patents and prototyping of a potential product has delivered 'positive results'. How much Honda has paid, what these positive results are and how much Antonov expects to make in the future are questions that Antonov will not answer due to 'confidentiality' clauses. Chairman Rouman Antonov also said test demonstrations of its six-speed gearbox with certain manufacturers had gone well and that 'GM, Ford, BMW, Peugeot-Citroen, Aisin, AW, Getrag, ZF and Jatco... are moving forward to the next stage with our technology'. However, once again, details are low on the ground. This next phase seems to involve these group's making 'assessments' of the mass production cost of Antonov's gearbox. It does not direct involve signing money-generating deals. Curiously, broker Durlacher has forecasts predicting that Antonov will make sales of £2.3m this year. To meet these figures Antonov (whose gearbox is no more fuel-efficient than a conventional manual gearbox) will obviously have to sign some deals quickly. Interestingly, non-executive director John Dickens says of Durlacher's numbers 'they are not our forecasts'. Avoid.

Sector: Automobiles & Parts

Companies: Antonov

Market cap: £20m

PE Forecast: n/a

Share price: 25p

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