Ace Liberty & Stone - 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. 

 

Financial Highlights:

·      Revenue for the year grew to £5,072,435 (2018: £3,515,088) a 44.3% increase

·      Property assets have increased to £88.3 million (2018: £58.2 million) a 51.7% increase

·      Comprehensive Income grew to £814,562 (2018: £361,295) a 125.5% increase

·      Profit after taxation increased to £765,717 (2018: £361,296) 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

 

Operational Highlights:

·      Ace has substantially strengthened its portfolio with the acquisition of eight properties for a combined total of £32,952,499:

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 £3,900,000, representing an overall 307% return on our investment over the purchase price of £1,670,000 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 £20 million agreed with Coutts & Co in addition to the existing facility with long term supporter Lloyds Bank

·      Shareholder support has also been forthcoming with:

£1.2 million of the 5% Convertible Loan Note converted into Ordinary shares

£3.2 million loan agreed; and

£10 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."

 

-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,

NEX Exchange Corporate Adviser

 

Jon Isaacs / Nick Michaels

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3772 0021

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

  

Chairman's Statement

 

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 £32,952,499 on these properties. This has the effect of lifting the total passing rent of the portfolio to £6,477,438. 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 £24million to £88million with the income proportionately increasing from £2.2million to £6.5million 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 £724,243 to £3,547,530. Over the same period recurring overheads have grown only from £365,439 to £872,735, 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 £20million at the year end. This support enables us to engage with confidence with potential vendors.

 

Shareholders, too, have been supportive. The holders of almost £1.2million of the 5% CLN have converted into Ordinary Shares and over £800,000 have exercised their warrants, contributing new equity capital to the enterprise. In addition, we have successfully arranged the issue of a £3.2million loan, also to shareholders, accompanied by warrants exercisable at 95p. The holder of the £10million 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

Chairman

 

Date: 25 September 2019

 

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income for the year ended 30 April 2019

 

 

 

2019

 

2018

 

 

 

£

 

£

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

                   

 

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

 

£

 

£

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

£

 

£

 

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 paid

 

 

 

 

(356,562)

 

-

 

Share based payment charge

 

 

 

 

347,726

 

-

 

  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 25th September 2019.

 

The preliminary announcement of the results for the year ended 30 April 2019 was approved by the board of directors on 25th September 2019.

 

2.         Earnings per Share

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

£

 

£

 

Profit for the period attributable to equity owners

 

814,562

 

361,295

 

 

 

 

No. of shares of 25p

 

No. of shares 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

 

 

 

£

 

£

 

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 £356,994 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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