Coffee table book publisher Quarto (QRT) gains 14.7% to 160p as it reports a preliminary approach for the company alongside a pretty torrid set of first half numbers.
The board says the approach is 'at a price it considers to be attractive and reflective of the inherent value of the business as a global publishing platform - and hence worthy of due consideration'.
WHAT IS AN ATTRACTIVE PRICE?
Just what that price might be is not revealed at this stage. The company traded at 52-week highs of 325p in early January but Quarto has lost more than half its market value since then. The company had already warned in July that these results would be short of expectations. Revenue is down 13% to $50.2m and the company reports an adjusted loss of $8.7m. No dividend is paid and for the first time in a while net debt ticks up, hitting $75.8m.
House broker Stockdale, which withdraws its price target and recommendation in light of the bid interest, comments: 'As flagged in the trading update in early July, Quarto has reported interim results below expectations.
'It has experienced a combination of factors which have impacted its results. The group has reported continued softness in its retail environment across both domestic markets, a changing product mix as well as unusually high returns from key customers.'
Quarto has also been hit by the end of the adult colouring book fad which helped boost its sales in 2015 and to a lesser extent in 2016.