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Thursday, 19/05/2011 // Press release-COBRA Schmuck: insolvency administrator keeps workforce informed

The temporary insolvency administrator Wolfgang Bilgery informed the workforce of COBRA Schmuck GmbH in a works meeting this afternoon of the current status of the insolvency proceedings. The inventory that was taken confirmed a significant shortfall in precious metal stocks. The prospects for the survival of the company are bleak.

The inventory conducted at COBRA Schmuck GmbH on behalf of the temporary insolvency administrator revealed stocks of 60.4 kg of fine gold and 1.8 t of fine silver. Gold liabilities, by contrast, come to 261 kg of fine gold and 3.6 t of fine silver, including precious metal liabilities to customers of 1.3 t of fine silver. This gives a shortfall of 200 kg of fine gold and 1.8 t of fine silver. Based on the prices of precious metal at the time the insolvency request was filed on 28.04.2011, the shortfall equates to some €9 million.

According to the annual financial statements of COBRA Schmuck GmbH on 31.12.2010, the stocks of gold and silver still covered the precious metal liabilities on that date. The shortage must therefore have arisen in the period between the start of the year and the insolvency request. Insolvency administrator Wolfgang Bilgery: “Given the quantity of precious metal that has disappeared, I hardly image that the shortfall arose over the Easter holidays.” Everything else would have to be left to the police investigation, he went on.

Insolvency administrator Wolfgang Bilgery told the workforce that the profit and loss account to 31.12.2010 and in 2009 had still shown a positive net result. In the first quarter of 2011, however, sales had collapsed by almost 30%. This suggested that the business had recently been running at a loss. The management had tried to counteract this by restricting home and contract work and by introducing short-time working. The dramatic collapse in sales had also had an effect on the liquidity of the company, and it was assumed that the April wages and salaries could no longer be paid. Bilgery was sceptical about the prospects for the survival of the company. Customers who had lost their precious metal supplies no longer had confidence in the company. A stand-alone solution could be virtually ruled out. However, the sale of individual product lines such as by-the-yard chains might be feasible. Initial discussions were in progress.

Contact:    Dr. Wolfgang Bilgery, tel.: 0711/96689-41
                 w.bilgery@grub-brugger.de