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DJ Ace Liberty & Stone PLC Half-year Report

TIDMALSP

RNS Number : 0955A

Ace Liberty & Stone PLC

17 January 2020

Ace Liberty and Stone plc

("Ace" or "the Company")

INTERIM RESULTS FOR SIX MONTHS TO 31 OCTOBER 2019

SOLID PROGRESS AND STRONG INCOME GENERATION

Ace Liberty and Stone plc, the active property investment company, capitalising on commercial property investment opportunities across the UK, is delighted to announce Interim Results for the period from 1 May 2019 to 31 October 2019.

Highlights:

   --      Turnover increased by 65% from GBP1,945,858 (H1: 2018) to GBP3,215,817 (H1: 2019) 

-- Turnover for full year expected to be significantly increased compared to last year's full year figures.

-- Although profit before tax has dropped marginally from GBP334,299 to GBP305,060, total comprehensive income for the current period increased by 47% from GBP270,782 to GBP396,684.

   --      Dividend of 0.83 pence per share paid 

Ismail Ghandour, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"During the reported period the Board adopted a conservative and prudent approach to its portfolio management, which we felt was necessary given the unstable political and financial environment. This has been vindicated by the results we have achieved which show a substantial increase in both revenue and total comprehensive income.

"Following this period of consolidation, which enabled us to capitalise on the substantial investment made in the portfolio in 2018, the Board now has plans for further investment in suitable properties, but only when the right opportunities arise.

"Ace remains one of the few NEX-listed companies with a stable dividend policy. The Company's strong visibility on income has enabled it (subject only to adequate profitability and cashflow in the future) to increase both the frequency and amount of dividends paid. The Board appreciates the support given by shareholders and will continue to work to provide good returns on their investment."

Chairman's statement

It is with great pleasure that I present the results for Ace Liberty & Stone plc for the period from 1 May 2019 to 31 October 2019.

As a result of the substantial investment in the portfolio made in the year ended 30 April 2019, turnover in the period under review, at GBP3,215,817 shows an increase of 65% over the comparable 2018 value of GBP1,945,858 and the Company is set to improve on last year's full year figures.

I am pleased to report that total comprehensive income for the period, at GBP396,684, shows a substantial increase, of 46%, over the result for the comparable period.

The company continues to follow a conservative approach to its portfolio management as shown by the following statistics at 31 October 2019:

   a)     Portfolio Loan to Value is 54% (H1 2018: 55%) 
   b)    Weighted Average Unexpired Lease to Break is 8.08 years (H1 2018: 9.6 years) 
   c)     All properties are fully let 

d) 58% of tenants are government bodies (H1 2018: 51%); 41% are triple-A commercial (H1 2018:45%)

   e)    No rental defaults 

Based on this solid progress, the Board has plans for further investment in suitable properties when the right opportunities arise.

As noted previously, the Company now pays its dividend to shareholders in three instalments each year resulting in earlier and larger payouts than previously. This is the second year of such a policy, following continuous growth since 2014, over which period the dividend payout has increased eleven-fold. The Board appreciates the support given by shareholders and will continue to work to provide good returns on their investment.

I am pleased to note that, as notified in regular announcements, the conversion of the 5% CLN issued in January 2018 into Ordinary Shares has been substantially completed with just GBP1,425,000 out of the original issue of GBP5,263,700 being temporarily rolled over at 31 December 2019 to give more time for holders to make their decisions. Over the same period warrants issued in connection with the 5% CLN and the 7% Loan have been exercised resulting in the issue of 3,908,250 new Ordinary Shares. The GBP10,000,000 CLN which expired on 28 June 2019 was also rolled over for two years.

The directors believe the Company is making excellent progress and will be continually on the lookout for opportunities to maximise the return from the existing portfolio and seek new investment properties to continue the portfolio growth.

We face the future with confidence and expect to continue to report improving results.

 
 Dr Tony Ghorayeb 
  Chairman 
  16 January 2020 
 

Unaudited group statement of comprehensive income

for the six months ended 31 October 2019

 
                                                        Six months                          Six months            Year ended 
                                                  ended 31 October                    ended 31 October              30 April 
                                                  2019 (Unaudited)                    2018 (Unaudited)        2019 (Audited) 
                                                               GBP                                 GBP                   GBP 
 
 Turnover                                                3,215,817                           1,945,858             5,072,435 
                                   -------------------------------  ----------------------------------  -------------------- 
 
 Gain on disposal of investment 
  property                                                       -                             499,549               284,138 
 Administrative expenses                                 (726,030)                           (948,618)           (1,827,857) 
 Fair value gains on investment 
  property                                                       -                                   -             1,247,371 
 Fair value losses on assets 
  held for sale                                                  -                                   -             (320,079) 
 Finance cost                                          (2,184,977)                         (1,167,986)           (3,354,830) 
 Finance income                                                250                               5,496                 5,511 
 Share based payment charge                                      -                                   -             (347,726) 
                                   -------------------------------  ----------------------------------  -------------------- 
 Profit for the period                                     305,060                             334,299               758,963 
 Taxation                                                 (93,050)                            (63,517)                 6,754 
                                   -------------------------------  ----------------------------------  -------------------- 
 Profit after taxation                                     212,010                             270,782               765,717 
 Other comprehensive income                                184,674                                   -                48,845 
                                   -------------------------------  ----------------------------------  -------------------- 
 Total comprehensive income 
  for the period                                           396,684                      270,782                      814,562 
                                   -------------------------------  ---------------------------  --------------------------- 
 
 Earnings per share - profit after 
  tax 
                                                             pence                        pence                        pence 
 Basic                                                        0.50                         0.67                         1.95 
 Diluted                                                      0.30                         0.46                         1.14 
 
 Earnings per share - total 
  comprehensive income 
 on redemption and 
 rollover 
 of CLNs                                                     pence                        pence                        pence 
 Basic                                                        0.93                         0.67                         1.97 
 Diluted                                                      0.56                         0.46                         1.15 
 
 

Unaudited group statement of retained earnings

for the six months ended 31 October 2019

 
                                         Six months            Six months        Year ended 
                                   ended 31 October      ended 31 October     30 April 2019 
                                   2019 (Unaudited)      2018 (Unaudited)         (Audited) 
                                                GBP                   GBP               GBP 
 
 Balance brought forward                    774,774             1,152,030         1,152,030 
                               --------------------  --------------------  ---------------- 
 Profit for the period                      212,010               270,782           765,717 
 Other comprehensive income                 184,674                     -            48,845 
                               --------------------  --------------------  ---------------- 
                                            396,684               270,782           814,562 
                               --------------------  --------------------  ---------------- 
 Dividend on ordinary shares              (349,312)             (502,202)       (1,191,818) 
                               --------------------  --------------------  ---------------- 
                                          (349,312)             (502,202)       (1,191,818) 
                               --------------------  --------------------  ---------------- 
 Balance carried forward                    822,146               920,610           774,774 
                               --------------------  --------------------  ---------------- 
 
 

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

January 17, 2020 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

DJ Ace Liberty & Stone PLC Half-year Report -2-

 Unaudited group statement of financial 
  position 
 at 31 October 2019 
 
                                         At 31 October         At 31 October      At 30 April 
                                      2019 (Unaudited)      2018 (Unaudited)             2019 
                                                   GBP                   GBP              GBP 
   ASSETS 
   Non-current assets 
   Investment properties                    79,538,096            61,768,232       79,538,096 
                                  --------------------  --------------------  --------------- 
 
   Current assets 
   Assets held for sale                      8,579,921             4,349,000        8,784,921 
   Trade and other receivables                 474,452               599,083          510,490 
   Cash and cash equivalents                 1,593,826             4,350,540        1,956,742 
                                  --------------------  --------------------  --------------- 
                                            10,648,199             9,298,623       11,252,153 
                                  --------------------  --------------------  --------------- 
 
   TOTAL ASSETS                             90,186,295            71,066,855       90,790,249 
                                  --------------------  --------------------  --------------- 
 
   EQUITY AND LIABILITIES 
   Current Liabilities 
   Liabilities held for sale                 1,395,375             1,559,999        1,440,125 
   Trade and other payables                  3,830,410             2,310,538        4,833,381 
   Taxation                                    184,494               162,098           96,681 
   Borrowings                               15,611,701             1,304,500       15,921,701 
                                                        --------------------  --------------- 
                                            21,021,980             5,337,135       22,291,888 
                                  --------------------  --------------------  --------------- 
   Non-current liabilities 
   Borrowings                               47,116,098            45,352,687       47,212,143 
   Deferred tax                                116,188               278,019          116,188 
                                                        --------------------  --------------- 
                                            47,232,286            45,630,706       47,328,331 
                                  --------------------  --------------------  --------------- 
   EQUITY 
   Issued capital and reserves 
   Share capital                            10,799,592            10,299,074       10,608,342 
   Share premium reserve                     9,604,775             8,301,222        9,099,025 
   Share option reserve                        826,906               479,180          826,906 
   Other reserve                               359,230               579,548          341,603 
   Treasury shares                           (480,620)             (480,620)        (480,620) 
   Retained earnings                           822,146               920,610          774,774 
                                                        --------------------  --------------- 
   Total equity attributable 
    to owners of the parent                 21,932,029            20,099,014       21,170,030 
                                  --------------------  --------------------  --------------- 
 
   TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES             90,186,295            71,066,855       90,790,249 
                                  --------------------  --------------------  --------------- 
 
 

Unaudited Group cash flow statement

for the six months ended 31 October 2019

 
 
                                           Six months              Six months              Year ended 
                                                ended        ended 31 October           30 April 2019 
                                           31 October        2018 (Unaudited)               (Audited) 
                                                 2019 
                                          (Unaudited) 
                                                  GBP                 GBP                         GBP 
 Profit before tax                            305,060             334,299                     758,963 
 Cash flow from operating 
 activities 
 Adjustments for: 
 Finance income                                 (250)             (5,496)                     (5,511) 
 Finance costs                              2,184,977           1,167,986                   3,354,830 
 Gain on disposal of investment 
  property                                          -           (499,549)                   (284,138) 
 Fair value adjustment                              -                   -                   (927,292) 
 Decrease in receivables                       36,038             335,396                     423,989 
 Increase / (decrease) in payables        (1,063,998)           1,070,670                   1,558,525 
 Tax paid                                           -                   -                   (156,977) 
 Interest paid                            (1,831,756)         (1,167,986)                 (1,448,846) 
 Other financial costs paid                         -                   -                   (356,562) 
 Share based payment charge                         -                   -                     347,726 
                                    -----------------  ------------------  -------------------------- 
 Net cash (used) / generated 
  by operating activities                   (369,929)           1,235,320                   3,264,707 
                                    -----------------  ------------------  -------------------------- 
 Cash flows from investing 
 activities 
 Interest received                                250               5,496                     (5,511) 
 Purchase of investment properties                  -        (11,280,366)                (32,952,499) 
 Sale of investment properties                205,000           3,884,549                   4,063,138 
 Net cash generated / (used) 
  by investing activities                     205,250         (7,390,321)                (28,894,872) 
                                    -----------------  ------------------  -------------------------- 
 Cash flows from financing 
 activities 
 Share issue, net of issue costs              387,000             891,099                           - 
 Long term loans advanced                     400,000           6,308,562                  23,415,375 
 Long term loan repaid                      (635,925)         (1,372,143)                   (690,000) 
 Short term loans advanced                          -                   -                   1,440,125 
 Short term loans repaid                            -                   -                   (665,705) 
 Equity dividend paid                       (349,312)           (502,202)                 (1,093,113) 
                                    -----------------  ------------------  -------------------------- 
 Net cash generated by financing 
  activities                                (198,237)           5,325,316                  22,406,682 
                                    -----------------  ------------------  -------------------------- 
 Net decrease in cash and cash 
  equivalents                               (362,916)           (829,685)                 (3,223,483) 
 Cash and cash equivalents at 
  the beginning of the period               1,956,742           5,180,225                   5,180,225 
                                    -----------------  ------------------  -------------------------- 
 Cash and cash equivalents at 
  the end of the period                     1,593,826           4,350,540                   1,956,742 
                                    -----------------  ------------------  -------------------------- 
 
 
 

The interim financial information set out herein does not constitute full financial statements within the meaning of Section 240 of the Companies Act 2006. The unaudited Group results have been prepared under the historical cost convention, in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 and applicable accounting standards in the United Kingdom.

The interim report has been prepared using accounting policies consistent with those set out in the Company's Annual Report and Accounts for the period to 30 April 2019. Those financial statements were prepared on a going concern basis.

The interim report for the six months to 31 October 2019 was approved by the Board on 16 January 2020

The Directors of Ace Liberty & Stone Plc 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, Leicester, Barnstaple, and Manchester. The Company locates commercial properties with Triple-A tenants which have the potential for an increase in value. Ace has maintained a track record of generating strong profits at disposal of properties and achieving better-than-average returns on capital which are in turn utilised to underwrite an increasing dividend flow to shareholders. 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 allied to a flexible decision-making process has allowed the Board to identify promising opportunities and act promptly to secure investments.

For more information on the Company please visit www.acelibertyandstone.com

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

January 17, 2020 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

DJ Ace Liberty & Stone PLC Half-year Report -3-

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 
 
 SP Angel 
  Broker 
 Vadim Alexandre / Abigail Wayne / Rob Rees         Tel: +44 (0)20 3861 6625 
 
 Belvedere Communications 
 John West / Llew Angus                            Tel: +44 (0) 20 3687 2756 
 
 ACF Equity Research 
 Christopher Nicholson / Amalia Barnoschi          Tel: +44 (0) 20 7558 8974 
 
 

- Ends -

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January 17, 2020 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)