Broo in stock-market halt

Publicly-listed brewing operation, Broo, has been forced to confirm to the Australian Stock Exchange that it has complied with its disclosure requirements following today’s significant, unexplained share price jump.

Shares in the troubled operation jumped from a low of $0.027 on 11 February to a high of $0.06 today, when the ASX issued its price inquiry notice. Shares rose to $0.071 before a pause in trading was announced.

ASX ‘speeding tickets’ are issued when a company’s share price increases significantly with no announcement from the company. The ASX seeks to confirm that the company is in compliance with its continuous disclosure obligations whereby any information that may affect the share price of a publicly-listed company must be disclosed.

Broo responded advising that it was not aware of any information that has not been announced.

Broo’s shares listed at 20c on October 14, 2016 soaring to a peak of 61c the following week, despite the company operating at a loss and not having sold a single beer into China at that stage.

Late last year, the company announced another $4m loss and its auditors indicated a “significant or material uncertainty” about Broo’s “ability to continue as a going concern”.

Broo announced to the ASX earlier this month that its auditor had resigned, with Broo advising the move was to “reduce audit costs”.

Broo issued its Q2 results for Financial Year 2018 in January, announcing that despite growth in revenues, and growing sales under its Chinese distribution deal, it expects that it will “continue to have negative operating cash flows in the short term”.

“Negative net operating cash flows are expected to significantly decrease in the current and future quarters,”the company advised.

“The Board and management carefully monitor the Company’s cash flow and are satisfied that additional short-term funding will be secured to continue to fund operating activities.”

“The Board is currently considering various funding options and will update the market accordingly.”

The volatility of Broo’s share price, for no apparent reason, contrasts with that of fellow-ASX lister, Gage Roads Brewing.

The Western Australian brewery’s share price has been relatively stable around the $0.10 level despite announcing significant growth of its proprietary brands.

The strength of Gage Roads’ performance has recently seen two significant investment funds, IOOF Holdings Limited and Spheria Asset Management, take their shareholdings in the brewery beyond the five per cent notifiable limit.

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