DJ Ace Liberty & Stone PLC Annual Financial Report
RNS Number : 9981N
Ace Liberty & Stone PLC
30 September 2019
Ace Liberty and Stone plc
("Ace" or "the Company")
FINAL RESULTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 APRIL 2019
Strong Growth in Revenue, Profit, and Portfolio Value
Ace Liberty and Stone Plc (NEX: ALSP), the active property investment company capitalising on commercial property investment opportunities across the UK, is delighted to announce its Final Results for the year ended 30 April 2019.
-- Revenue for the year grew to GBP5,072,435 (2018: GBP3,515,088) a 44.3% increase -- Property assets have increased to GBP88.3 million (2018: GBP58.2 million) a 51.7% increase -- Comprehensive Income grew to GBP814,562 (2018: GBP361,295) a 125.5% increase -- Profit after taxation increased to GBP765,717 (2018: GBP361,296) a 111.94% increase -- Dividend payments for the year were double that of the previous year at 2.5p per share -- Dividends paid in three installments resulting in earlier receipt by shareholders
-- Basic Earnings per share 1.97p (2018: 0.91p) and diluted earnings per share 1.15p (2018: 0.61p) increased by 116.5% and 88.5% respectively
-- Ace has substantially strengthened its portfolio with the acquisition of eight properties for a combined total of GBP32,952,499:
o Tweedale House, Oldham and Brocol House Wigan; Princes Court, Leicester; Mecca Bingo Hall in Chesterfield; Frances House in Northampton; Black Horse Street in Bolton; Nolan House in Warrington; and James Cook House in Middlesbrough
-- The portfolio was also rebalanced with the sale of the Doncaster car park; as well as most of the remaining residential assets in Barnsley and Stoke on Trent
-- Since the year end further residential properties were sold in Barnsley and the sale of Hillcrest House in Leeds was also agreed
-- Ace also sold Hume House for GBP3,900,000, representing an overall 307% return on our investment over the purchase price of GBP1,670,000 in 2014; and Bridge House in Dudley was sold with deferred completion
-- These transactions show Ace's proactive investment and trading strategy in action, finding multi-use and attractive locations with strong rental agreements and established tenants
-- Banking relationships were improved with new banking facilities of GBP20 million agreed with Coutts & Co in addition to the existing facility with long term supporter Lloyds Bank
-- Shareholder support has also been forthcoming with:
o GBP1.2 million of the 5% Convertible Loan Note converted into Ordinary shares
o GBP3.2 million loan agreed; and
o GBP10 million Convertible Loan Note renewal agreed
Ismail Ghandour, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
"We are currently in a very strong position, with a healthy balance sheet, good cashflow and excellent banking relationships in place. Ace will now look to use this financial and operational platform to explore opportunities that present themselves as a result of the current economic and political turmoil.
"Our strategy remains unchanged and we will choose our properties very carefully, making sure they fit our investment criteria; fully let; with national or local government or triple-A commercial tenants; and most leases covering the next nine plus years. We are more convinced than ever that there are many more profitable opportunities in smaller, thriving towns outside of the capital and believe we can continue our growth no matter what the eventual outcome of Brexit brings."
For further information, please contact:
Ace Liberty & Stone Plc Ivan Minter, Financial Director Tel: +44 (0) 20 7201 8340 http://acelibertyandstone.com Alfred Henry Corporate Finance Ltd, NEX Exchange Corporate Adviser Jon Isaacs / Nick Michaels Tel: +44 (0) 20 3772 0021 www.alfredhenry.com Belvedere Communications John West /Llew Angus Tel: +44 (0) 20 3687 2756 www.belvederepr.com SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP Broker Abigail Wayne / Rob Rees Tel: +44 (0)20 3470 0470 www.spangel.co.uk ACF Equity Research Christopher Nicholson / Amalia Barnoschi Tel: +44 (0) 20 7558 8974 www.acfequityresearch.com
It is my great pleasure once again to recommend an Annual Report which shows remarkable progress.
The Company has purchased properties in Oldham, Wigan, Leicester, Chesterfield, Northampton, Bolton, Middlesbrough and Warrington during the year under review, spending GBP32,952,499 on these properties. This has the effect of lifting the total passing rent of the portfolio to GBP6,477,438. Photographs of these properties are shown on the inside front and back cover of the annual report. During the year the Doncaster car park was sold as were most of the remaining residential properties in our Barnsley and Stoke on Trent portfolios. The sale of Bridge House, Dudley was agreed with deferred completion. Since the year end, we have completed the sale of the residential properties in Barnsley and arranged the sale Hillcrest House, Leeds. The proceeds of these sales will be used for further purchases.
I again commend to you the KPIs published on pages 6 and 7 of the annual report. This is information used by management to run the business and we believe it is beneficial for shareholders and potential investors to be able to share it. In the last five years, the portfolio has grown from some GBP24million to GBP88million with the income proportionately increasing from GBP2.2million to GBP6.5million the graph of this performance forms the basis of the Report's front cover design. We also take pride in the quality of the portfolio. The Weighted Average Unexpired Lease to Break measurement (WAULB) has been consistently close to nine years for the past three years and, elsewhere in the Report, we disclose that 59 per cent of the Group income is from National and Local Government tenants. These statistics show our stability outperforms many in our industry and confirm the very secure base from which to approach the future.
We also show the underlying portfolio strength in terms of cash- and profit- earning with the management reports which show the growth of gross contribution from the portfolio over the past five years from GBP724,243 to GBP3,547,530. Over the same period recurring overheads have grown only from GBP365,439 to GBP872,735, demonstrating sound corporate management on behalf of our shareholders.
I commented last year on the effect of IFRS on our published reports. In our view the KPIs published will give a more focused report on the essence of the business.
The Company continues to benefit from sound banking relationships. In addition to the valued facility from Lloyds Bank Plc, we have added a new facility from Coutts & Co which reached approximately GBP20million at the year end. This support enables us to engage with confidence with potential vendors.
Shareholders, too, have been supportive. The holders of almost GBP1.2million of the 5% CLN have converted into Ordinary Shares and over GBP800,000 have exercised their warrants, contributing new equity capital to the enterprise. In addition, we have successfully arranged the issue of a GBP3.2million loan, also to shareholders, accompanied by warrants exercisable at 95p. The holder of the GBP10million CLN has agreed to renew this instrument.
Finally, I am delighted to report the continued increase in the Company's dividend payments. The payment in respect of the year ended 2019 was double that of the previous year, at 2.5p per share, and was paid in three instalments instead of annually, resulting in earlier receipt by shareholders.
None of us can foresee what awaits us in the future and, in these troubled times, it would be rash of me to make any forecasts. I can simply say that the Company is very soundly placed and the Board will be ready to meet any opportunities which occur in the next twelve months.
Dr Tony Ghorayeb
Date: 25 September 2019
Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income for the year ended 30 April 2019
2019 2018 GBP GBP Revenue 5,072,435 3,515,088 Gain / (loss) on disposal of investment property 284,138 (40,758) Administrative expenses (1,827,857) (1,042,612) Fair value gain on investment property 1,247,371 250,000 Fair value losses on assets held for sale (320,079) (250,000) Finance cost (3,354,830) (2,219,199) Finance income 5,511 1,622 Share based payment charge (347,726) - Profit before taxation 758,963 214,141 Taxation 6,754 147,154 ------------ -------------- Profit after taxation 765,717 361,295 Other comprehensive income 48,845 - Total comprehensive income for the period 814,562 361,295 ============ ============== Attributable to: Owners of the parent 814,562 361,295
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DJ Ace Liberty & Stone PLC Annual Financial Report -2-
============ ============== Earnings per share on continuing activities Pence Pence Basic earnings per share attributable to equity owners of the parent 2 1.97 0.91 Diluted earnings per share attributable to equity owners of the parent 2 1.15 0.61
Consolidated Statement of Financial position at 30 April 2019
2019 2018 ASSETS GBP GBP Non-current assets Investment property 79,538,096 50,487,866 79,538,096 50,487,866 ----------- ----------- Current assets Assets held for sale 8,784,921 7,734,000 Trade and other receivables 510,490 934,479 Cash and cash equivalents 1,956,742 5,180,225 ----------- ----------- 11,252,153 13,848,704 ----------- ----------- TOTAL ASSETS 90,790,249 64,336,570 =========== =========== EQUITY AND LIABILITIES Current liabilities Liabilities relating to assets held for sale 1,440,125 2,587,141 Trade and other payables 4,833,381 1,239,869 Taxation 96,681 162,098 Borrowings 15,921,701 690,000 ----------- ----------- 22,291,888 4,679,108 ----------- ----------- Non-current liabilities Borrowings 47,212,143 40,003,625 Deferred tax 116,188 214,502 ----------- ----------- 47,328,331 40,218,127 ----------- ----------- Share capital 10,608,342 10,065,887 Share premium 9,099,025 7,643,310 Share option reserve 826,906 479,180 Other reserve 341,603 579,548 Treasury shares (480,620) (480,620) Retained earnings 774,774 1,152,030 ----------- ----------- Total equity 21,170,030 19,439,335 ----------- ----------- TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES 90,790,249 64,336,570 ----------- -----------
Consolidated Cash Flow Statement for the year ended 30 April 2019
2019 2018 GBP GBP Profit before tax 758,963 214,141 Cash flow from operating activities Adjustments for: Finance income (5,511) (1,622) Finance costs 3,354,830 2,219,199 Gain on disposal of investment property (284,138) 40,758 Fair value adjustment (927,292) - Decrease / (Increase) in receivables 423,989 (756,313) Increase in payables 1,558,525 476,019 Tax paid (156,977) (337,186) Interest paid (1,448,846) (1,520,350) Other finance costs (356,562) - paid Share based payment 347,726 - charge Net cash generated by operating activities 3,264,707 334,646 334,646 ------------- ------------- Cash flows from investing activities Interest received (5,511) 1,622 Purchase of investment properties (32,952,499) (20,784,558) Sale of investment properties 4,063,138 1,501,242 Net cash used by investing activities (28,894,872) (19,281,694) ------------- ------------- Cash flows from financing activities Share issue, net of issue costs - 85,300 Long term loans advanced 23,415,375 26,673,688 Long term loans repaid (690,000) (3,593,404) Short term loans advanced 1,440,125 1,000,000 Short term loans repaid (665,705) - Equity dividend paid (1,093,113) (389,121) Net cash generated by financing activities 22,406,682 23,776,463 ------------- ------------- Net (decrease) / increase in cash and cash equivalents (3,223,483) 4,829,415 ------------- ------------- Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the period 5,180,225 350,810 Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period 1,956,742 5,180,225 ============= =============
NOTES TO PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 APRIL 2018
1. The financial information set out above does not constitute statutory accounts for the purpose of Section 434 of the Companies Act 2006. The financial information has been extracted from the statutory accounts of Ace Liberty & Stone Plc and is presented using the same accounting policies, which have not yet been filed with the Registrar of companies, but on which the auditors gave an unqualified report on 25(th) September 2019.
The preliminary announcement of the results for the year ended 30 April 2019 was approved by the board of directors on 25(th) September 2019.
2. Earnings per Share The calculations of earnings per share are based on the following earnings and numbers of shares. GBP GBP Profit for the period attributable to equity owners 814,562 361,295 -------------- ------------- No. of No. of shares shares of 25p of 25p Weighted average number of shares For basic earnings per share 41,245,673 39,837,319 Dilutive effect of share options 29,837,805 18,942,245 -------------- ------------- For diluted earnings per share 71,083,478 58,779,564 ============== ============= Earnings per share pence pence Basic 1.97 0.91 Diluted 1.15 0.61 GBP GBP Dividends declared during the year - per share of 25p 0.0291 0.01 Dividends declared during the year - total 1,196,786 389,121 There were no dividends declared and approved prior to the end of the year for inclusion in the Financial Statements. However, a dividend of GBP356,994 was approved after the year end, being equal to 0.84p per share.
- ends -
The Directors accept responsibility for this announcement.
Notes to Editors
Ace Liberty & Stone Plc is a property investment company with a diverse portfolio of properties located across the UK, currently including Leeds, Sunderland, Plymouth, Dudley, Gateshead, Barnstaple, and London. The Company locates commercial and residential properties which have the potential for an increase in value through creative asset management activity, such as change of tenancy, change of use or new lease negotiation. Ace has maintained a track record of generating strong profits at disposal of properties and achieving better-than average returns on capital. With strong support from shareholders and mortgage lenders, the Company is currently seeking further investment opportunities in the UK to create value for existing and new investors.
Ace is run by a board with extensive property experience, an excellent network of contacts and relevant professional qualifications. This sector expertise has allowed the Board to identify opportunities and act promptly to secure investments.
For more information on the Company please visit www.acelibertyandstone.com
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DJ Ace Liberty & Stone PLC Annual Financial Report -3-
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