Extension of share buyback programme
The board of directors of M.P. Evans ("Board") is pleased to announce its decision to extend the share buyback programme (the "Programme"), originally due to expire on 14 September 2023, up to 14 December 2023 and to increase the budget for the Programme by a further £2 million. All shares acquired under the Programme will be cancelled.
Since commencing the Programme the Group has purchased 188,080 shares at an average price of £7.24 per share and the total cost to date of the shares purchased is £1.4 million out of the existing £2 million budget. All shares acquired under the Programme have been cancelled.
The Board continues to believe the current share price undervalues the Group's assets, the performance of the business to date and its future prospects. The Group's robust balance sheet provides the opportunity to take advantage of prevailing market conditions to repurchase shares at advantageous levels that will enhance earnings.
The Group is undertaking this Programme as part of a disciplined approach to capital allocation, which includes continuing investment across its estates, the ongoing pursuit of strategic acquisition opportunities and payment of dividends at an increased level. The Board sees a case for buybacks being economically attractive since the Group's shares are currently trading below the share price implied by the independent valuation of its assets.
The Programme will operate under the authority granted to the Group by shareholders at the Group's most recent Annual General Meeting, held on 9 June 2023, and within the regulatory limit on the quantity of shares the Group may purchase on any single day. The board will continue to keep the Programme under review and will make a decision in due course on whether to further extend either its budget or duration.
As previously notified MP Evans has entered into an agreement with Peel Hunt LLP for them independently to carry out on-market purchases of its 10p shares to give effect to the Programme. The Programme will continue to be conducted in compliance with Article 5(1)(b) of the UK version of Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 which is part of UK law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and the delegated regulations made pursuant to it.