Ace Liberty & Stone - Half-year Report
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 £1,945,858 (H1: 2018) to £3,215,817 (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 £334,299 to £305,060, total comprehensive income for the current period increased by 47% from £270,782 to £396,684.

·      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 £3,215,817 shows an increase of 65% over the comparable 2018 value of £1,945,858 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 £396,684, 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 £1,425,000 out of the original issue of £5,263,700 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 £10,000,000 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 ended 31 October 2019 (Unaudited)  

   Six months ended 31 October 2018 (Unaudited)  

 Year ended 30 April 2019 (Audited)


  GBP 

  GBP 

  GBP 









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)

Taxation

(93,050)

(63,517)

6,754

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 ended 31 October 2019 (Unaudited)  

   Six months ended 31 October 2018 (Unaudited)  

 Year ended 30 April 2019 (Audited)


  GBP 

  GBP 

  GBP 





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



 

 

 

Unaudited group statement of financial position




 

at 31 October 2019




 





 


At 31 October 2019 (Unaudited)  

At 31 October 2018 (Unaudited)  

At 30 April 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 ended 31 October 2019 (Unaudited)  

   Six months ended 31 October 2018 (Unaudited)  

 Year ended 30 April 2019 (Audited)

 


  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

 

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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