Corporate news

Annual accounts and suspension of trading

29 June 2017

Aquatic Foods Group Plc (AIM: AFG), a leading Chinese marine foods and seafood processor and producer supplying to export and local markets announces that the Company expects that it will not be in a position to publish its audited report and accounts for the year ended 31 December 2016 by 30 June 2017 in accordance with Rule 19 of the AIM Rules for Companies. As a result trading in the Company's shares shall therefore be suspended from trading on AIM pursuant to AIM Rule 40 pending publication of the accounts. The suspension will commence at 7.30 a.m. today.

Work to complete the Company's audit and accounts is substantially complete with audited results and cash balances expected to be in line with the Company's trading update for the year ended 31 December 2016 which was announced on 20 March 2017. While the Group maintains a strong cash balance, the Company has faced continued difficulties in remitting funds from its operating entities in China to the Jersey holding company resulting in the delay of payments to a number of parties whose assistance is required for the finalisation of the audited accounts. The Board is putting short term measures in place, through the provision of directors loans to the Jersey holding company, to ensure that these critical payments are made in order for the accounts to be released as soon as possible but it is expected that a number of parties including the Company's Directors and Nominated Adviser will still be owed fees by the Company.

The Company's Directors are seeking to establish a framework for ensuring that ongoing UK expenses can be met in a timely manner going forward notwithstanding more stringent cross border fund remittance control by the PRC State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) which the board understands to have been prevalent of late. Until the resolution of matters relating to the ongoing transfer of funds from the Group's operating subsidiaries to the Company, the Directors have determined not to declare further dividends and do not currently intend to declare a final dividend in respect of the year ended 31 December 2016.

The Company anticipates that its accounts will be published during July and will provide further updates as appropriate in relation to the UK payments situation and publication of the report and accounts.

Notwithstanding the suspension of trading in the ordinary shares, the Company will continue to make announcements as and when there are any developments that require announcement under the AIM Rules.

Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure

Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.

 

For further information:

Aquatic Foods Group Plc Tel: +44 (0)7706 814 895
Po Ling Low, Finance Director pllow@kanwa.cn
   
SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP
Nominated Adviser and Broker
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3470 0470
Stuart Gledhill / Robert Wooldridge www.spangel.co.uk

Media enquiries:

Abchurch  
Julian Bosdet / Jenny Lee / Alejandra Campuzano Tel: +44 (0) 20 7398 7700
  www.abchurch-group.com
  AquaticFoods@abchurch-group.com

 

Notes to Editors:

Aquatic Foods Group is a leading marine foods and seafood processor and supplier based in China. The Group initially built its business through focusing on the export market (principally Japan under the "Kanwa Foods" brand), and subsequently established the "Zhenhaitang" brand in 2007 in mainland China to take advantage of the growing market driven by growing disposable income within the Chinese middle-classes and a more health conscious consumer base.

The Group benefits from excellent food safety procedures developed over many years which have helped the Group to build a strong track record of supplying its products into overseas markets. This track record has enhanced the perception of the quality and reliability of the Group's products in China and has allowed the Group to expand significantly into local markets as demand for seafood products has increased. In a market that has seen regular public health scares relating to food safety, the Group considers that its adherence to these standards to be a key strength. The Group has obtained the following key standards:

- ISO 9001 Quality Management System certification
- HACCP Food Safety System certification
- BRC certification; and
- Marine Stewardship Council certification

Aquatic Foods works with a network of distributors to effectively market its products in China. The Group has continued to grow its distributor relationships and now distributes its products in 16 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China through 50 regional distributors. These distributors in turn sell the Group's products to sub-distributors and retailers, including supermarket chains and hypermarkets.

Further information can be viewed at www.aquatic-foods.com.

 

 

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