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January 20, 2003

Shortfall hits phone hearing aid firm

From: Edinburgh Evening News, UK - 20 Jan 2003

HEARING Enhancement, the Livingston-based developer of mobile phone products for hearing aid wearers, has warned of a "significant" cash shortfall after two major contracts were postponed.

Shares in the company, which is listed on the Ofex market for smaller companies, were suspended last month, just days after it reported a first-half loss of £574,000, and trading remains on hold while the directors try to reach a refinancing deal with bankers and institutional shareholders.

Finance director Richard Muir-Simpson resigned on Christmas Eve, leaving managing director Jeremy Scuse and operations director Walter Jacobs to head the company.

Mr Scuse said five new products - which allow hearing aid wearers to use mobile phones without generating interference - had been launched in September and the range had been well received.

The firm has also been appointed as an airtime services provider by Vodafone to provide mobile airtime services for the hearing impaired.

"However, the postponement of two major business-to-business contracts due for completion in quarter four has resulted in the company facing a significant cash shortfall," he said.

Mr Scuse added: "Discussions with the company’s bankers and with institutional shareholders regarding a refinancing to ensure the future of the company have been supportive.

"It is hoped that a final position will be reached within the next few weeks."