NMCN shares have been suspended from trading after the company confirmed it would miss the deadline to publish its 2020 results.
The contractor had been due to release its accounts by the end of June, but in a market statement released this morning it said its results were still to be audited.
NMCN’s auditors are particularly focused on estimated costs to complete certain contracts and amounts that could potentially be recovered. The firm said its “priority and focus” was to publish the accounts as soon as possible.
Failure to publish its accounts within six months of the end of its financial year on 31 December meant its shares had to be suspended from trading. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) suspended the company’s shares at 7:30am this morning. They are expected to be reinstated once the results are published.
Russ Mould, investment director for trading platform AJ Bell, told Construction News suspended shares were not common: “I’m sure shareholders are concerned because, in the end, one of the things that shareholders like in any shareholding is liquidity – the ability to buy or sell the shares when they wish at the price they seek and in the volume that they wish to trade in,” he said.
The suspension comes as NMCN continues its efforts to secure financing to ensure the group’s long-term survival. Last week it announced a £24m re-financing deal with investors, which would see turnaround specialist Svella take a major stake in the business. If shareholders approve the refinancing deal in August, Svella could own up to 92.7 per cent of the company.
This morning’s statement included a release from Svella chairman Andrew Tinkler supporting NMCN, but no comment from the contractor’s board. Tinkler said: “We understand that the company is working with its auditors to close out these historic matters as a priority. Svella continues to work with the company to progress this recapitalisation, which will provide the required capital to allow the company to achieve its growth potential as set out in the announcement on 21 June 2021.”
Mould said the suspension of shares could help the company to complete its refinancing: “I’m sure they’re just looking to give themselves some breathing space, reaching agreements with the banks and reaching agreement with any potential equity investors,” he said.
Earlier this month, NMCN admitted that it is expecting to make a loss in 2021, on top of £24m worth of expected losses for 2020.
NMCN issued a string of growing profit warnings for 2020, following the abrupt departure of chief executive John Homer last summer. In August 2020, Homer told CN: “Profit hasn’t grown as we’d wanted it to grow.”