Sanctuary Shares Plunge Following 40% First Half Profit Drop

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Shares of the U.K.-based Sanctuary Group Plc plunged approximately 27 percent after the company announced its fiscal first-half earnings will be much lower than a year earlier.

Sanctuary, which purchased Elton John's management company in April, saw their shares fall as much as 11.5 pence, the biggest decline in more than 10 years. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in the first half ended March 31 will fall 40 percent from a year earlier because of fewer record releases, Sanctuary said in a Regulatory News Service statement.

Earnings from the full year are also expected to be "substantially less" than last year, the company said, due to extra costs pursuing international growth.

Sanctuary had reported recently that they are in talks with potential buyers about a sale of the company, said it had "nothing to add at this stage" about any potential offer, according to Bloomberg.

Sanctuary's Ebitda for the first half of fiscal 2004 was 10.6 million pounds and net income was 2.9 million pounds.

The second half should "stronger" than the first half as in previous years, though the drop in first-half company profit and "more challenging trading conditions" will cause full-year earnings to decline, the company said. Sanctuary earns more in the second-half of the year because more records are released and artists tour during the summer.

Sanctuary will report first-half results on June 28. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers