Troubled Tadpole forecasts pounds 9.3m loss

MATHEW HORSMAN

Beleaguered computer company Tadpole Technology confirmed the extent of its troubles at an extraordinary general meeting yesterday, telling shareholders it expected a pounds 9.3m loss in the year ending 30 September 1995.

By the end of the third quarter this year losses had already reached pounds 7.7m, on revenues of pounds 18.6m, the company said yesterday. Tadpole will also make a pounds 700,000 provision to revalue component inventory.

The shares closed unchanged at 81p. Analysts said all the bad news had already been incorporated in the share price. A block of 1.25 million shares was placed with institutions at 201p early last year, before problems developed across the company's computer range.

Gordon Grey, chief executive, said Tadpole was on track to report an operating profit in the first half of 1996 on the basis of internal sales forecasts. A US subsidiary of Nations Bank had provided a debt facility of up to $6m (pounds 3.75m), subject to debt cover targets being met, replacing a facility of $2.5m.

Poor market reception to the company's line of laptop computers, as well as higher-than-expected administration costs, combined to squeeze profits starting in late 1994.

Mr Grey told shareholders in May that the losses were "unacceptable and hard lessons have been learnt".

The company would reduce costs and derive higher revenues through the sale of new product lines, he said.

But earlier this year, Tadpole said its financial position had deteriorated to such a degree that an automatic EGM under the Companies Act was triggered.

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