City Briefs: Gear4Music and Powerhouse Energy

Online retailer of musical instruments and music equipment, Gear4Music, achieved UK sales of £23m during the three months to 31 December 2020.

This compared with sales of £20.9m for the equivalent period in 2019.

The firm’s total sales for the last three months of 2020 were £52.2m, a 30% increase from the £40.3m it made for the equivalent three months in 2019.

And the business also reports that its gross profit has increased by £5m (47%) from £10.6m to £15.6m.

Gear4music’s chief executive officer, Andrew Wass, said: “I am pleased to report a very successful FY21 peak trading period, that continues to reflect the significant commercial and operational progress that we have made during the last two years, alongside the continuing hard work and commitment of our staff.

“Strong growth during the period has been driven by products that can be used and played at home, including Guitars, Keyboards and Home Recording equipment.

“We know many of our customers are looking forward to rehearsing and performing together again, and as social distancing restrictions are eased, we expect our Live Sound, Drums and Orchestral categories to return to stronger growth.

“As expected, the end of the Brexit transition period and the UK’s departure from the EU customs union was not without its challenges, which we had extensively planned for and have carefully managed.

“New cross border processing costs have been introduced, alongside the added complexity and cost of additional rules of origin duties contained within the Brexit trade deal.

“The planned scale-up of our European hub infrastructure has provided a solid operational platform to help overcome these challenges, and also helped to mitigate the impact of port closures in December 2020 as a result of COVID.”

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Powerhouse Energy, a sustainable hydrogen company based in Bingley, has raised £10m through a placing at 5.5p per share arranged by Turner Pope Investments Ltd (TPI).

The directors carried out the fundraising to provide money for the first commercial scale DMG installation using the company’s technology.

It will allow the company to complete negotiations rapidly for the Special Project Vehicle (SPV) to be established to deliver the Protos plant.

Protos is a Peel L&P energy park development near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

The Protos facility gained planning consent from Cheshire West & Chester Council in March last year. It plans to transform the way plastic is dealt with regionally, with the scheme also set to provide a blueprint for future projects to be rolled out nationally.

Powerhouse will apply the net funds from the fundraising to invest alongside Peel NRE Environmental Limited.

A total of 181,818,182 new ordinary shares of 0.5p in the capital of the company have been placed at the issue price with an institutional investor and a small number of Turner Pope’s private clients, as well as the White Family (the company’s largest shareholder), raising £10m, before expenses.

The White Family is a long-term supporter of the company and is investing approximately £2.6m in the fundraising.

David Ryan, CEO of Powerhouse, said: “My overriding priority is to bring Powerhouse’s first project to operation soonest.

“The completed plant would enable future customers worldwide to see the DMG technology delivering the reality of waste plastic regenerated to hydrogen, realising the predicted technology environmental and commercial benefits.

“This investment will allow Powerhouse and Peel to deliver this reality sooner and I consider it as an obvious step for the company to make in these challenging times.”

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