please check the attached assignment file for full details and the following notes must be followed :
• Maximum word limit for this assignment is 2000 words excluding financial analysis and calculations.
• Other instructions on submission can be found on Studynet and your module handbook.
• Follows Harvard style for in-text citation & Reference List.
7BSP1123- Accounting for Business Decisions
Assignment 1 (35% of the overall mark)
Submission deadline: 28th March, 2015
Please read the case study below and answer the questions that follow
Leisure Outfit Ltd (LOL)
“This is absolutely typical of British banks. As soon as you have any success they want to pull the plug and stop you trading” Jill Dempsey was very angry. She is the managing director of LOL and had just received a letter from the company’s bank requiring a significant reduction in the overdraft. “This is ridiculous” agreed Mike Greaves, the production director. “Last year we had a cracking year and it looks set to continue. We had a big order in from Arena just this morning. If we can’t keep up the overdraft, we won’t be able to fulfil that order”. Arena was one of several national chains of casual and sportswear stores that were placing substantial orders with LOL, usually to be sold under the LOL label but in some cases under the stores’ own-brand label.
Leisure Outfit Ltdwas started by Jill Dempsey and Mike Greaves five years ago. The business is a designer and manufacturer of casual and leisure clothes aimed particularly at the younger, higher-income market. Before starting the company, both had been employed as senior managers with Cassini plc, a large UK clothes manufacturer. They decided to form Leisure Outfit Ltdafter their ideas for developing a new range of clothes for younger people had been rejected by Cassini Plc. Although their former employer liked the ideas proposed, it was restructuring its operations after three consecutive years of losses and had decided to focus on certain core brands aimed at meeting the needs of older people requiring smart day and occasion wear. The proposals by Jill and Mike did not, therefore, fit with the strategies that Cassini had just begun to implement.
From the outset, Jill and Mike decided that LOL would be a design-and-marketing led business. Both felt that many of the problems experienced by Cassini could be traced to weaknesses in these areas and they were determined that this would not occur in their newly formed business. Much of the forward planning was concerned with integrating the product design and development with the sales and marketing operations of the business. The new company had taken a lot of trouble and spent a lot of money on employing a young and talented design team, led by Jane Barker who had been employed previously as a chief designer for a leading sportswear brand. The range of clothes designed by Jane and her team was greeted with enthusiasm by the major buyers, and this was converted into firm orders by the marketing team led by Jill Dempsey. The order book began to grow and, for the new season, orders had reached their highest level ever.
Leisure Outfit Ltdbegan trading during a period of recession when people did not have a great deal of money to spend on clothes. However, sales started to increase significantly as the economy began to come slowly out of recession and as export markets in France and Switzerland were opened. Jill and Mike were both surprised and delighted by the speed with which the sales of the business had grown in recent years and by the growing base of regular customers. The order just received from Arena was seen as particularly important. If Arena became a regular customer, the sales of the company were likely to increase rapidly over the next few years and would establish LOL as a major player in the market.
Jill and Mike had both invested their life savings in the business and had taken out large mortgages on their respective houses to help finance the new company. However, this provided only a relatively small amount of the total ordinary share capital needed. In order to raise the remaining share capital, friends, family and business contacts were approached. The largest shareholder of the business was Keeble Estates Ltd, owned by David and John Keeble. The two Keeble brothers had made large profits by land speculation over the years but were keen to diversify into other areas as their business had been particularly hard hit by the recent recession. They had known Jill for many years and were convinced that she and Mike would make a success of the new business.
The board of directors of Leisure Outfit Ltd and their shareholdings were as follows:
Jill Dempsey Managing director and marketing director (350,000 shares)
Mike Greaves Production director (350,000 shares)
Jane Barker Design director (20,000 shares)
David Keeble Chairman (1,000,000 shares owned jointly with brother John through
John Keeble Non-executive director
In addition to his role as production director, Mike tended to look after financial matters.
Though the company had accounts staff who dealt with the day-to-day transactions, there was no one within the company who had any great financial expertise. When there was a problem, the company’s auditors were normally asked for advice.
On the day that the letter from the bank was received, a board meeting was due to take place to consider the draft accounts of the business for the year that had ended two months earlier. At this meeting, the letter from the bank was also distributed to board members for discussion.
Mike Greaves began the discussion by saying:
We’ve just received the draft accounts from the auditors, which seem to confirm our success. Profit has more than doubled. I really can’t see how the cash situation is so poor. I know that we spent a lot on that additional plant and that we didn’t get anything from the old machines we got rid of, but most of that was covered by the bank loan. Really, the cash situation should be even better than the profit level implies because the expenses include about £2.6 million for depreciation and we don’t have to write a cheque for that.
Jill Dempsey, who was still angry at what she regarded as the high-handed attitude of the bank, pointed to the difficulties that the bank’s demands would cause:
The bank wants us to reduce the overdraft by half over the next six months! This is crazy. I tried to explain that we have important orders to fulfil but the manager wasn’t interested. How on earth can we find this kind of money in the time available? We are being asked to do the impossible.
Both Mike and Jill had, before the meeting, hoped that the Keeble brothers would be prepared to help out by purchasing further shares in the company or by making a loan. However, it was soon made clear by David Keeble that further investment was not a possible option. Keeble Estates had been experiencing considerable problems over recent years and simply did not have the money to invest further in Leisure Outfit Ltd. Indeed, the Keeble brothers would be prepared to sell their shares in LOL to generate much-needed cash for their ailing company.
Finding a prospective buyer for the shares was not, however, a likely prospect at this point. Both David and John Keeble had been heavily involved in recent years with the problems of Keeble Estates and had taken little interest in the affairs of LOL. The board meeting made them realise that they should have been much more attentive, and they now faced the prospect of being major shareholders of two failed companies unless things could be radically improved.
The accounts of Summer Bodysuit Ltd for the past two years are set out below.
Income statement for the year ended 31 December:
Year before last Last year
Revenue 14,006 22,410
Cost of sales 7,496 11,618
Gross profit 6,510 10,792
Operating expenses 4,410 6,174
Operating profit (before interest and taxation) 2,100 4,618
Interest payable 432 912
Profit before taxation 1,668 3,706
Taxation 420 780
Profit for the year 1,248 2,926
Dividends proposed in each year
These are paid in the following year.
Balance sheet as at 31 December Year before last Last year
Non-current assets 8,600 14,470
Inventory 2,418 5,820
Trade receivables 1,614 3,744
Other receivables 268 402
Cash 56 8
Total assets 12,956 24,444
Ordinary shares of ₤0.50 each 3,600 3,600
Retained profit 3,274 5,400
Loan notes 3,600 6,600
Trade payables 1,214 2,612
Other payables (inc. taxation) 1,268 1,982
Bank overdraft 4,250
Total equity and liabilities 12,956 24,444
The board of directors was not able to agree on a way of dealing with the financial problem faced by the company. Jill believed that their best hope was to continue to wrangle with the bank over its demands. She felt that there was still a chance that the bank could be persuaded to change its mind once the draft accounts for last year were made available and once the bank was informed of the implications for the company of paying off such a large part of the overdraft in such a short period of time. Mike and Jane, on the other hand, were not optimistic about the prospects of changing the bank’s position. The company had breached its overdraft limit on several occasions over the past few years and they knew that the patience of the bank was now wearing thin.
The directors believed that the only real solution was to look for someone who was prepared to make a significant investment in the business. They felt that only a large injection of new funds could keep the business on track. Like Jill, the other board members believed that the draft accounts demonstrated the success of the business over recent years and that this evidence would make the business attractive to a potential investor. The Keeble brothers rejected both of these views as being impractical. In addition, they were against the idea of introducing another major shareholder to the company as this was likely to dilute their influence over the future direction of the business. The brothers believed that drastic and immediate action was required by the board, although they were not sure what form of action should be taken.
After several hours of discussion, it was clear that the financial issue was not going to be resolved at the meeting. Instead, it was agreed that expertise from outside the company should be sought to help the company find a feasible solution to the problem. The board decided to approach Smarty Management Consultants, which specialises in helping businesses with financial problems, and to ask the firm to produce a plan of action for the board’s consideration. Jill agreed to contact the firm of consultants on behalf of the board and to agree to the terms of reference for the work required. She was, however, apprehensive about what the proposed plan of action would contain. Immediately after the board meeting she discussed her concerns with Mike. She said, ‘It seems we have to pay a penalty for our success. I only hope this penalty won’t involve undoing all our good work over the years.’
Assume that you are a member of Smarty Management Consultants.
Prepare a report for the board of directors of Leisure Outfit Ltd that analyses the problems faced by the company and sets out a detailed plan of action for dealing with its financing problem.
Would you support the bank’s request for a significant reduction in the overdraft facility granted to Leisure Outfit Ltd? Full justification required to support your position.
Maximum word limit for this assignment is 2000 words excluding financial analysis and calculations.
Other instructions on submission can be found on Study-net and your module handbook.
Follows Harvard style for in-text citation & Reference List.
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