Ace Liberty & Stone - Final Results
RNS Number : 0990N
Ace Liberty & Stone PLC
28 September 2021
 

 

EMBARGOED UNTIL 7 A.M. Tuesday 28 September 2021

Ace Liberty and Stone plc

(''Ace'' or "the Company'')

FINAL RESULTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 APRIL 2021

 

Pandemic survived

Poised to capitalise

 

Ace Liberty and Stone Plc (AQSE: ALSP), the active property investment company capitalising on commercial property investment opportunities across the UK, is delighted to announce its results for the year ended 30 April 2021. 

 

Financial Highlights:

 

·      Portfolio value up 3.0% to £89,936,560 (FY2020 £87,318,017)

·      Shareholders' funds up 3.9% to £32,196,180 (FY2020 £30,986,132)

·      Portfolio total passing rent up 5.5% at £6,926,440 (FY2020 £6,556,740)

·      Profit after tax improved to £1,210,048

·      Most properties in "levelling up" priority areas. 50% in high priority

 

 

Ismail Ghandour, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

 

"Improving performance and profitability in a year sabotaged by the Covid pandemic is a tribute to the stability of the portfolio.

 

"We are confident Ace will continue to prosper in the coming year."

 

 

-ends-

 

 

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,

AQSE Growth Market Corporate Adviser

 

Jon Isaacs / Nick Michaels

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3772 0021

 

www.alfredhenry.com

 

 

 

 

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP

Broker

 

Vadim Alexandre / 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

 

Chairman's Statement

 

I have great pleasure in presenting the results for the year ended 30 April 2021. Group revenue is down slightly from £6,391,897 to £6,227,124 because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as detailed in the Strategic Report. It is significant that, out of a total passing rent of £6,926,440, only £85,086 had to be written off through tenant defaults. This represents a very good outcome for the year by comparison with the sector generally given the widespread economic downturn experienced globally. Total comprehensive income for the period is £1,218,931 compared to a profit of £461,969 as originally stated in last year's accounts and a loss of £288,969 as now re-stated in order to rectify the omission of the fair value of interest rate swaps and cap. Shareholders' funds have increased from £30,986,132 to £32,196,180. These numbers confirm a strong performance by the Company.

 

Expenditure during the year has been reduced. In 2020, overheads included a one-off charge for employees' national insurance in respect of the share options exercised by the directors in that year, which benefits the current year by comparison. There is also a welcome reduction in the amortisation of loan arrangement costs due to the passage of time and the repayment of loans in the year ended April 2020.

 

Opportunities for acquisitions have been rare during the year but the Group has continued its expansion at a modest level by completing the purchases of 16-17 Westborough, Scarborough, North Yorkshire for £1,430,000 and 78/82 English Street and 49/53 Blackfriars Street, Carlisle for £1,710,000. Both have secure long-term tenants, Skipton Building Society in the first instance and Clydesdale Bank in the second. The passing rents are £131,000 and £120,000 respectively. Contracts have been exchanged for the purchase of Unit M, 9 Hunters Row, Stafford for £1,260,000 with completion to take place after the year end. The tenant is Iceland Foods Limited with a passing rent of £95,000.

 

Ace has continued to seek to sell the assets classified as held for sale in the balance sheet. The sale of the Leeds and Dudley properties is due to complete on 30 September 2021 and there is strong interest from a buyer for the Oscar Court property.

 

I reported last year that Ace took the opportunity to raise additional equity finance by means of the exercise by the directors of their options and subsequent sale of the shares to investors in Lebanon. This resulted in cash balances at 30 April 2020 of some £7 million. Subsequent events in Lebanon have prevented remittance of these funds to the UK for property investment as intended due to the imposition of exchange controls by the Banque du Liban. To protect the Company's asset, it has been designated a cash contribution to capital under Lebanese banking regulations and shown as an investment in the Company's balance sheet. It remains the Company's intention to remit the funds to the UK for investment in the portfolio when circumstances permit.

 

The Company's loan facility with Lloyds Banking Group, which stood at £25,462,800 at the balance sheet date, is due to mature in November 2021. Accordingly, the balance is shown as a current rather than a non-current liability.  Negotiations are well advanced to renew or replace this loan.

 

It is worth noting that about half of the Group's properties lie within the development areas designated by the government to achieve its levelling up agenda as illustrated by the outline map on page 9 of the annual report. Having survived the pandemic in good shape, the Group's portfolio is set to perform well as the country returns to normal levels of activity. Given continued profitability and a strong cash flow, the Board intends to reinstate dividend payments as soon as possible whilst continuing to expand the portfolio as opportunities arise.

 

Dr Tony Ghorayeb

Chairman

Date:  27 September 2020

 

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income for the year ended 30 April 2021

 

 

 

2021

 

2020

 

 

 

 

Restated

 

 

£

 

£

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

6,227,124

 

6,391,897

Loss on disposal of investment property

 

-

 

(13,026)

Administrative expenses

 

(1,406,526)

 

(1,805,592)

Fair value loss on investment property

 

(500,000)

 

(500,000)

Fair value loss on assets held for sale

 

(200,000)

 

(300,000)

Lease breakage fee

 

 

-

 

173,375

Finance cost

 

(3,021,065)

 

(4,723,182)

Finance income

 

286,539

 

34,842

Profit / (Loss) before taxation

 

1,386,072

 

(741,686)

Taxation

 

(176,024)

 

111,113

Profit / (Loss) after taxation

 

1,210,048

 

(630,573)

Other comprehensive income - release of equity proportion of CLNs

 

8,883

 

341,604

Total comprehensive income / (deficit) for the period

 

1,218,931

 

(288,969)

 

 

 

 

 

Attributable to:

 

 

 

 

Owners of the parent

 

1,218,931

 

(288,969)

 

Earnings per share on continuing activities 

 

 

Pence

Basic earnings per share attributable to equity owners of the parent

 

2.08

 

(0.61)

Diluted earnings per share attributable to equity owners of the parent

 

1.64

 

(0.47)

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Financial position at 30 April 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

2021

 

 

2020

 

 

 

 

Restated

ASSETS

 

£

 

£

Non-current assets

 

 

 

 

Investment property

 

79,706,639

 

76,888,096

Investments

 

5,000,680

 

-

Deferred tax

 

223,541

 

128,541

 

 

84,930,860

 

77,016,637

Current assets

 

 

 

 

Assets held for sale

 

10,229,921

 

10,429,921

Trade and other receivables

 

1,347,471

 

789,256

Cash and cash equivalents

 

2,913,363

 

7,432,958

 

 

14,490,755

 

18,652,135

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL ASSETS

 

99,421,615

 

95,668,772

 

 

 

 

 

EQUITY AND LIABILITIES

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities

 

 

 

 

Liabilities relating to

 

 

 

 

assets held for sale

 

1,272,313

 

1,350,625

Trade and other payables

 

7,311,567

 

5,536,009

Taxation

 

458,542

 

100,121

Borrowings

 

37,716,654

 

2,668,972

Derivative financial instrument

 

77,601

 

-

Deferred tax

 

83,487

 

121,487

 

 

46,920,164

 

9,777,214

Non-current liabilities

 

 

 

 

Borrowings

 

19,958,927

 

54,244,301

Derivative financial instrument

 

346,344

 

661,125

 

 

20,305,271

 

54,905,426

 

 

 

 

 

Share capital

 

14,626,463

 

14,626,463

Share premium

 

16,773,712

 

16,773,712

Other reserve

 

202,302

 

211,185

Treasury shares

 

(480,620)

 

(480,620)

Retained earnings / (Accumulated losses)

 

1,074,323

 

(144,608)

Total equity

 

32,196,180

 

30,986,132

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES

 

99,421,615

 

95,668,772

                 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Cash Flow Statement for the year ended 30 April 2021

 

 

 

2021

 

2020

 

 

 

 

 

Restated

 

 

 

£

 

£

 

Profit / (Loss) before tax

 

1,386,072

 

(741,686)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flow from operating activities

 

 

 

 

Adjustments for:

 

 

 

 

 

Finance income

 

(286,539)

 

(34,842)

 

Finance costs

 

3,021,065

 

4,723,182

 

Loss on disposal of investment property

 

-

 

13,026

 

Fair value adjustment

 

700,000

 

800,000

 

Increase in receivables

 

(257,448)

 

(278,766)

 

Increase in payables

 

776,239

 

702,627

 

Tax paid

 

(4,936)

 

(8,809)

 

Interest paid

 

(2,617,709)

 

(2,547,166)

 

Other finance costs paid

 

(17,800)

 

(745,631)

 

Net cash generated by operating activities

2,698,944

 

1,881,935

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

 

 

 

Interest received

 

49,359

 

34,842

 

Purchase of investment properties

 

(3,619,918)

 

-

 

Sale of investment properties

500,000

 

205,000

 

Investment into LiBank

(5,000,680)

 

-

 

Net cash (used) / generated by investing activities

(8,071,239)

 

239,842

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

 

 

Share issue, net of issue costs

-

 

6,104,665

 

Long term loans advanced

 

1,525,000

 

-

 

Long term loans repaid

 

(372,300)

 

(1,480,000)

 

Short term loans repaid

 

(300,000)

 

(550,000)

 

Equity dividend paid

 

-

 

(720,226)

 

Net cash generated by financing activities

852,700

 

3,354,439

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net (decrease) / increase in cash and cash equivalents

(4,519,595)

 

5,476,216

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the period

7,432,958

 

1,956,742

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period

2,913,363

 

7,432,958

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                 

 

 

 

 

NOTES TO PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 APRIL 2021

 

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 27 September 2021.

 

The preliminary announcement of the results for the year ended 30 April 2021 was approved by the board of directors on 27 September 2021

 

2.         Earnings per Share

            

 

 

2021

 

2020

 

 

 

 

 

Restated

 

 

 

£

 

£

 

The calculations of earnings per share are based on the following earnings and numbers of shares.

 

 

Profit / (Loss) for the period attributable to equity owners

1,218,931

 

(288,969)

 

 

No. of shares of 25p

 

No. of shares of 25p

Weighted average number of shares

 

 

 

For basic earnings per share

58,505,850

 

47,609,342

Dilutive effect of share options

15,840,708

 

14,312,252

For diluted earnings per share

74,346,558

 

61,921,594

Earnings per share

pence

 

Pence

Basic

2

 

(1)

Diluted

2

 

(0)

 

£

 

£

Dividends declared during the year - per share of 25p

-

 

0.025

Dividends declared during the year - total

-

 

731,725

               

 

- 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, predominantly in the midlands and north of England, which are now the focus of Government incentives. The Company locates commercial properties which have creditworthy tenants, several years' rental income and 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 to deploy its strong balance sheet and is 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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