Shares in VPhase plunged on Wednesday morning after a suspension on their trading was lifted as the company revealed details of its administration and subsequent corporate changes.
Hit by the effects of the introduction of the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation, the group's pre-tax losses for the six months ended June 30th more than tripled to £2.72m from £0.8m in the same period of the previous year. Losses per share for the half year almost doubled from 0.10p to 0.19p.
"In the second quarter of 2013 it became apparent that with the downturn in performance and the level of funds available that additional funding would be required to ensure that the group could continue to trade," VPhase explained.
"An approach was made to our existing institutional investors; however given the deterioration in trading performance and uncertainty surrounding the wider market for energy efficiency products the existing institutional investors were unwilling to commit funds and new institutions were also deterred by that stance."
After no funding became available, the group suspended the trading of its shares
on June 20th, and announced its intention to appoint administrators less than a month later.
The group agreed to convert the holding company VPhase plc into an investment shell, all 17 employees were made redundant, the intellectual property was sold for £0.2m, and the sale of the inventory was initiated.
At a meeting in November, creditors approved a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), whereby the company exited administration and the administrators were appointed supervisors and as such will receive any dividend from its subsidiary Vphase Smart Energy, which will be distributed to the creditors.
The CVA enabled VPhase to propose to members that it be reconstructed into a debt free investment shell, and as part of this the group has conditionally raised funds of £0.15m via the placing of 5bn new shares with Henderson Global Investors, which increased its stake in the company to 83.9%.
The group has as a result of the changes become an investing company and announced two non-executive board changes.
Findel, the home shopping and education materials supplier, reported improved sales during the second half after a robust performance from its biggest businesses, express gifts and Education.
The West Yorkshire-based firm said group sales rose 4.6% from September 28th to January 17th 2014 from the same period the prior year. Total sales since the half-year rose 3.8% ahead of the prior year.
However shares of Findel fell almost 6% in early London trading after it cautioned that within its Education Supplies division, there remains an element of uncertainty with regard to buying patterns.
"Academies and schools remain cautious with budgets ahead of the new curriculum in 2014," it said.
Sales at Kitbag since the half-year fell 4.3% while sales at Kleeneze declined by 5.0%.
Overall, Findel said it remains well on track to deliver another year of strong profit growth and meet its stated 2014/15 operating margin target range.
Bad debt indicators at Express Gifts have remained stable since half-year, it said. Total debt at the end of December 2013 was £224.3m, down £19.8m since December 2012.
Findel said it is on track to deliver full-year results in line with market expectations.