Ahh, the reason... There was a Post closing update released at 7am...
It wasn't, and still isn't (1.20pm) on interactive investor, as far as I can see.
What a rubbish service!
Post Close Trading Update
INVESTMENT DELIVERING IMPROVEMENT
Goals Soccer Centres PLC, a leading operator of outdoor small-sided soccer centres with forty-nine sites, including three in North America announces a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2017 in advance of the release of the Company's final results on 13 March 2018.
Goals is continuing to show progress from its strategic recovery plan with 2017 proving a period of significant investment in the UK and strategic progress in the US.
Total sales increased by 0.5% to £33.7m (2016: £33.5m). Like for like sales declined by 0.5% (2016: +0.5%), the decline was exacerbated by the disruption of closure due to investment in upgrades (0.4%).
In the UK, the specific trading patterns outlined in the summer have broadly continued in H2: major Arena investment is delivering good sales growth in a large group of sites, whilst minor refurbishment has reduced the rate of sales decline. Sites that have yet to receive investment have continued to perform poorly. Just over half of our estate has benefited from investment. A further £3m of capital will be selectively targeted to further modernise the estate during 2018 to deliver the compelling proposition which customers clearly seek.
The Joint Venture in North America with City Football Group, formed in July 2017, is performing and progressing well. Our third club in North America opened last week at Rancho Cucamonga in Los Angeles and we expect to commence construction of our fourth club during Q2 2018.
Overall, the Board anticipates profits for 2017 will be broadly in line with the lower end of market expectations.
Further to the announcement of 12 October 2017 Mark Jones, will step down from the Board and leaves the business on 26 January. The search for a new CEO is at an advanced stage and we hope to be able to update on this shortly, however in the meantime Bill Gow will assume Mark's responsibilities as Interim CEO.
Nick Basing, Chairman commented:
"Our recovery plan remains "work in progress" with 2017 being a period of substantial investment in the UK and significant improvement achieved where major investments have been made.
We are excited by the progress and the future of our strategic joint venture with City Football Group in North America.
With our new developments in North America and further investment in our UK business, we are confident that we can deliver improved returns, over time, for Goals
Still watching and waiting.
An all time low today, any ideas of the reason for the steep drop at the open? News leak maybe?
Until concrete signs of the turnaround plan working are reported I can't see too much optimism in the market for Goals.
Been following for a while now from the sidelines,
Not a bad set of results when you consider the investment in the refurbished sites, a 10% hit seems a bit harsh.
Powerleagues, the turnaround, the debt pile and the California expansion are all preying on investment sentiment I guess, everyone wants certainty.
I'm going to try to get in this morning, it seems like an opportunity.
Goals UK should be able to tread water as a result of the investment that has gone in but with 4m of annual head office costs a powerleague merger or take private would make sense. It doesn't really need to be an independent plc anymore at this size, now that the US growth opportunity is being funded in the JV.
Well it looks like good news to me, they're throwing their North American hat in with the Arabs that own Man City and getting a load of new funding to accellerate the roll out of their estate over there coupled with the right to use the names for marketing and promotion.
The trading update wasn't too bad either, reinvestment is taking place at a fair clip and like for like sales were up.
I still think these are cheap and football and beer aren't going out of fashion anytime soon.
I agree - nearly 3 months on from what was a very informal statement is quite enough time to have either moved forwards or away from any approach and update all shareholders accordingly. I have no doubts that the larger shareholders will know the state of play, not least given their board positions in some cases.
A trading update that contains some actual numbers would be appreciated as well - after all, it's shareholders money that is being invested and statements like 'better than last year' (well given you have invested millions, let's not clap too loudly) & 'in line with expectations' (that wonderful BS phrase) are a waste of time and of no use whatsoever to anyone wanting to value this business.
With Goals UK stabilised and acting as a cash generating underpin, attention hopefully turns to the growth opportunity in the US. Site #2 opens this weekend. Long overdue. Why they were opening sites in Doncaster a year or two ago over pushing the US no one will ever understand.
With a pipeline of further US sites, hopefully Goals starts to rate on growth rather than ex growth basis. Fingers crossed. A reasonable bet this gets taken private in due course - it ticks most of the boxes.
I assume it was a site outside London. I think the london sites are still doing well. Can you confirm at least what part of the country your site you play at is in. Hardly sensitive info and useful for those of us trying to analyse the husiness. Thanks for any further insights you may have
I am not an investor of goals, but have looked at them in the past. I am however a punter.
I have just got back from a goals center. My team did not play a game, so they took no money from us. They have given us a bar voucher, so monies paid out. I began playing at this center approx 20 years ago, under different ownership, AT that time there were 6 or 7 divisions every night, now there are 3. There was talk of throwing us out after arranging to miss bank holiday weekend game. That made three this season. It is difficult to get together a team almost every week for 15 and 20 years. I play for two teams. Might be a sign of why they can not grow. That is all i can be bothered with, as I am not invested. Thought it might be of interest.
I bought in to these fairly recently because I felt that with the guidance the company had given that they were merely having a bad year and were on a reasonable multiple of profits, generating cash (actually they do generate cash but they have been spending it on new sites in the UK) along with a strong balance sheet and operating a business that wasn't going out of fashion anytime soon (football and beer).
Although the underlying profit was as forecast I would like to know at what point they decided to make substantial asset writedowns and couldn't they have warned of this sooner and at what point it became apparent that the competitive position had seemingly changed with grant funded pitches popping up that are able to undercut them on price.
Hopefully the strategy of expansion in America whilst not opening any more sites in the UK is sound and will help restore the company to health.
Be interesting to know what Chris Mills thinks of all this.
"It was hard getting a five-a-size football team together this summer as players took advantage of the strong pound and jetted off abroad on holiday. At least that's what management at LSE:GOAL:Goals Soccer Centres think was behind a 10% slump in ..."
"GOALS SOCCER CENTRESÂ (LSE:GOAL) Â is showing the classic signs of a glass ceiling. As the chart shows, we've drawn a pink line at 239p as the chart has been experiencing trouble closing above this point since 2008. It's usually quite ..."
"Snipping was heard across the Square Mile this morning, as City analysts trimmed their forecasts after a disappointing start to the year dampened five-a-side pitch provider LSE:GOAL:Goals Soccer's final results. It has been an important year for ..."
* Bookmark the links if you wish to 'pass the LINK/s on'.... or read later?
* The Campaign is specialized among the investing fraternity only. The population as a whole would hardly vote for a ban on shorting...most people have never heard of it, have they?
Whereas, the other Govt epetitions command votes from the *general population..and if you check, NONE are doing better than a handful of votes !
Deramping SHORTERS !
Shorting a rising stock....is much worse when it is done by your resident posters that seemingly are your buddies and convince 'long' holders to give up!
What many pi's fail to grasp is the extent that shorting is taking place. Often we tend to think that the 'shorter' is gone, 'he' is out of the way? You'd be wrong in most cases, for ( he ), the shorter, is often joined by others that keep the stock down !
Some stocks fall after GOOD NEWS!
The main reason for many pi's selling, is they are afraid they'll be left in losses AND because they FEAR shorters !
Consolidating shares often sees the sp fall as the *multi-bagger potential is greatly reduced. Shorters know this and will take full advantage to get 'longs' to give up and sell !
BUT, where does that leave the genuine investor that has put stocks into their pension funds?...holding losses again!
* Once pi's know the stock is being shorted...they'll SELL UP IN THEIR DROVES !
We can't both WIN !
The 'shorts' therefore 'win' their bets, whereas the 'longs' lose the best part of their investment, possibly for some time to come......and just when you thought this couldn't go any lower, THEY'LL SHORT THE STOCK AGAIN !
* Thanks for all your support. We are now heading towards 5,000 votes!
* Investors are saying something? They are voting in their hundreds !
# The big problem with shorting is that THEY (the shorters) WOULD most likely lose most of their money IF they just 'bet' on the price going down without trying to 'help' it down?
'Catch 22' .... No one would know of an RNS to be released that will contain BAD NEWS, if they did and then 'shorted' the stock, then they are guilty of 'insider trading'.
The only sure way to short a stock and WIN is to spread dis-information to defame the company with help from other posters that are in concert with them. To ENSURE that they don't lose the biggest part of their 'short', ironically, then, they must deramp with (seemingly) believable posts.
* When the pro's do it, they simply get the media or well known 'crooked' tipsters, analysts or brokers to do it for them. (say no more).
# The campaign against shorting is for the benefit of the 'cheated' investors that cannot control their investments due to the dirty tricks played out by co-ordinated shorting !
The results will be reviewed by Govt legislators for further action! The FCA will be asked by Davide Serra to conduct an investigation into short selling practices, with the view to either ban short selling, or to be better regulated !
I remember buying these at 82p but sold around 115p thinking I was cleaver haha! Sold way too early, great company and if this stock ever does have a large dip im loading up for the long term this time
"AIM-listed LSE:GOAL:Goals Soccer Centres, the 5-a-side football centre operator, produced a rise in profit before tax of Â£9.62 million for the full year 2013 from Â£2.6 million last year, which was just short of analysts' forecasts.The East ..."
Vague bid rumours that a private equity group is taking a look at Goals Soccer Centres helped the five-a-side specialist score a 1.5p gain to 158p. Last year a £73.1m bid from the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan failed to get shareholder approval and the takeover deal collapsed.
my guess is that a bidder will return, given that there were discussions with not just one, but two buyers. Comfort on 140p plus level is given by the minority c.26% shareholders, who felt that this level was too low and were prepared to go against the board's recommendation to accept. There's something in the takeover code that prevents a bidder from returning within a certain time frame ( 6 months?? - can look it up) where an original offer had received board recommendation. As for the health of the underlying business - no idea. maybe this autumn's 'get back in the game' campaign and post-olympic glow will help.
Having been away on holiday I missed the RNS announcing that the take over bid had collapsed. Given that the bid only just failed to meet the 75% threshold I am a little surprised that the bid was not sweetened a bit. That said, I am not sure whether at the current price the share is an absolute bargain or not. If the VAT on five a side soccer is still on the agenda (I may have missed something here) then this will have reduced the value of the company a little. One also has to ask what will need to change for a bidder to come in at a price of say £1.40 plus per share. I should add that I sold half my shares whilst the price was a bit higher than the Canadian bid and sold the rest for a little below that price when the second bidder pulled out. Comments welcome as buying back in on a modest scale is an option for me.
With Goal Soccer Centres dropping over 20% today (22/08/2012) they are surely now even more of a bargain at 116p considering that at least two potential bidders were looking to buy the business at a price of over 140p per share?
Interesting to see someone hoover up 4.5m shares today at 148p some 4p over the offer announced this morning. Market been trading above the offer all day so market clearly thinks there will be a counter bid.
I have been taking rather a keen interest in footfall lately and not just because my journey home last weekend was interrupted by thousands of jubilant Chelsea fans on London's King's Road celebrating the club's Champion League win.
My interest in the beautiful game is more financial at the moment, and with this in mind I noted an announcement from five-a-side football pitches operator Goals Soccer Centres which has been in bid talks with the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan since early April. What piqued my attention was the fact that the Takeover Panel has told the Canadian Pension Fund, one of the country's largest institutional investors, it has until the close of business on Monday 11 June to announce a firm intention to make a bid for the company. It's a classic 'put up or shut up' deadline and one that in my view will prompt the bidder to stump up the cash to take Goals Soccer Centres private.
In fact, having run through the numbers in detail, I am convinced this is exactly the type of deal Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan will want to close. It certainly ticks all the right boxes as Goals Soccer Centres is a highly cash-generative, asset-backed business and one with a dominant market position, controlling 42 per cent of the UK branded five-a-side football market. The company has a strong growth profile, too, boosting no fewer than 40 sites in its pipeline to add to the 43 it currently operates from.
Those sites are in the books for £110m and have been funded by £53.6m of bank debt but, more importantly, the cash generation of these soccer centres is mightily impressive as they produced £13m of operating cash flow and cash profits of £13.8m in 2011. That represented a 12 per cent profit uplift on the prior year, a trend that shows no sign of slowing, according to analyst Paul Hickman of broker Peel Hunt. In fact, he is forecasting cash profits of £15.2m in 2012, rising to £16.1m in 2013. Or, to put this into perspective, if the company stopped opening new centres tomorrow it could return cash back to shareholders equivalent to 40 per cent of its market value over the next three years just through cash generation alone. This will not have been lost on the Canadian suitor who is clearly having a close look at the books and will also be working on a take-out price acceptable to shareholders. Having done the same exercise myself, I firmly believe that the chances of a bid now materialising are heavily odds-on.
That's because, with the shares being offered in the market at 132p, the company only has a market value of £63m which is a modest premium to its December 2011 book value of £52m. To put it another way, if Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan picked up Goals Soccer Centre at this price and paid off the company's debt then for a bargain £117m it is getting hold of a business for less than eight times this year's expected cash profits and a miserly seven times 2013 forecast cash profits.
That would indeed be a bargain, but one that in my view will not tempt Goals Soccer Centres' shareholders to part with their paper. What probably would tempt them is an offer of between 155p and 160p a share, a 20 per cent premium to the current market price. At the bottom of that range, the company's equity would be valued at £76.8m and once you factor in debt the total take-out price would be £129m. This equates to just under 10 times last year's cash profits and 8.6 times forecasts for 2012. Obviously, the 10 largest shareholders who control an aggregate of over 57 per cent of the shares in issue will have to play ball, but from my lens an offer in the 155p to 160p range would be a fair valuation.
Clearly, the prospect of making a potential 20 per cent profit in these volatile markets is an attractive proposition and one that could b
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