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First UK oil for Cairn + Moss Bros upbeat

Simon ThomsonCairn Energy: Simon Thomson, chief executive will tell shareholders in Edinburgh that it has made “excellent progress” on its strategic objectives.

The company expects first oil from the Catcher and Kraken developments this year.  Together they will deliver around 25,000 barrels of oil a day on plateau net to Cairn, generating significant cash flows for reinvestment.

“Elsewhere, we have secured additional licences both in the North Sea and Barents Sea and farmed in to a number of interesting prospects offshore Ireland, where we plan to drill an exploration well in the Southern Porcupine basin this summer,” said Mr Thomson.

“We are fully funded to deliver this programme, and meet all our commitments. We currently have ~US$254 million cash on our balance sheet, while our Reserve Based Lending facility is undrawn.

“International arbitration proceedings are progressing in respect of Cairn’s claim under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty for the restitution of c. US$1billion of assets frozen in 2014, with a date set for the final arbitration hearing in January 2018.  We expect a ruling soon thereafter and remain confident in our position.

“2016 was a year of excellent progress, providing a strong platform for further activity in 2017. This year, we will commence production in the North Sea, progress the SNE field towards development, drill material exploration wells in Senegal and Ireland, and continue to work on new exploration and development opportunities both from the existing asset base and from new ventures.”

Moss Bros: Trading for the 15 week period from 29 January to 13 May has shown improvement on the prior year in line with market expectations, the company will tell shareholders today. Strong retail sales, including e-commerce, have underpinned this positive performance.

Highlights:

·    Total sales for the business for the first 15 weeks increased by 3.7% on last year; like-for-like sales were up 2.3% for the same period.

·    Like-for-like retail sales, including e-commerce, were up 5.5% with the new season’s ranges performing well.   

·    E-commerce sales continued to increase, up 14.7% on last year, with continuing growth in mobile traffic. Total e-commerce sales now comprise 11.6% of total sales for the 15 weeks to date compared with 10.7% for the same period last year. 

·    A further 3 stores have been refitted and 2 new stores have opened so far this year, bringing the total number of stores trading in the new format to 101 out of a total portfolio of 129 stores. The new format stores continue to trade ahead of non-refitted stores and are on track to achieve their anticipated payback targets.

The business continues to make good progress on its key strategic objectives and the board is confident that the business will meet market expectations for the year. 

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