Ace Liberty & Stone - Half-year Report
RNS Number : 3342O
Ace Liberty & Stone PLC
29 January 2019
 

 

29th January 2019

 

Ace Liberty and Stone plc

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

INTERIM RESULTS FOR SIX MONTHS TO 31 OCTOBER 2018

 

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 2018 to 31 October 2018. 

 

Financial Highlights:

 

·      Rental income for the half year is £1,945,848, an increase of 32% (2017: £1,472,190)

·      Rental income for the full year is set to exceed the 2018 achievement of £3,515,088.

·      Profit from continuing operations for the current period is £270,782 representing an increase of 24% (2017: £218,054)

·      Payment of 0.83 pence per share dividend declared

 

Operational Highlights:

 

·      Ace has increased its portfolio since 30 April 2018 with four strong purchases of the following properties:

-      Tweedale House, Oldham and Brocol House Wigan for a combined cost of £6,400,000;

-      Princes Court, Leicester for £4,385,000 and Mecca Bingo, Chesterfield for £3,999,000

·      These purchases show Ace's proactive strategy in action, finding multi-use and attractive locations with strong rental agreements and established tenants

·      Ace 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

·      Ace is well placed to thrive no matter what many possible outcomes to the current political and economic situation presents

 

 

Ismail Ghandour, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

 

"This period was very productive for Ace and we are extremely pleased to have ended it on such a high note with some exciting acquisitions and a well-placed disposal.

 

"In the current unstable political and financial environment, Ace's steady strategy continues to pay off and we believe that no matter what the eventual outcome of Brexit brings, we will continue to show growth.

 

"This is based on an assessment of our sound business model. In short we are well placed as our properties are fully let; the majority of our tenants are national or local government or triple-A commercial; and most leases cover the next nine plus years.

 

"London property can often be overvalued and more prone to fluctuations in the global financial market, which is why we continue to action our regional property strategy as we believe that there are more profitable opportunities in smaller, thriving towns outside of the capital.

 

"We take pride in the steady and reliable Company our strong management team has shaped over the years.

 

"Furthermore, we will continue to be regular dividend payers, rewarding our shareholders for their commitment to our strategy and business model.

 

-ends-

 

 

 

For further information, please contact:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chairman's statement

 

It is with great pleasure that I present the results for Ace for the period from 1 May 2018 to 31 October 2018. 

 

We have achieved a great deal this year and this set of results reflects the steady and reliable progress that the Company's strategy delivers with a senior management team with a proven track record at the helm.

 

Amid all the noise and confusion over Brexit, I am pleased to remind you that Ace is well-placed to thrive, as we believe our long term rental agreements and regional approach to our investment portfolio will continue to pay off.  We have confidence we shall continue to create profit, no matter which of the many possible outcomes to the present political and economic situation prevails for the following reasons:

 

              a)     Our current £70m portfolio has an LTV of only 55%;

              b)    The resulting rental income of £5.2m p.a. generates free cash in excess of £250k per quarter;

              c)     All properties are fully let;

              d)    51% of tenants are national or local government; 45% are triple-A commercial;

              e)    Weighted Average Unexpired Lease to Break is 9.6 years; and

               f)     IRR is 13.8%.

We are particularly proud that rental income for the Half Year has increased by 32% and we believe that the Full Year is set to exceed our 2018 numbers - we believe we shall achieve a figure over £3.5M.  Profit from continuing operations for the current year has increased by 24%; another reflection of our steady growth and our simple, but strong business model.

 

During this period Ace has increased its portfolio with the purchase of Tweedale House, Oldham and Brocol House Wigan for a combined cost of £6,400,000, and Princes Court, Leicester for £4,385,000. Since 31 October the Company has also purchased the Mecca Bingo Hall in Chesterfield for £3,999,000. These properties have all been financed with loan facilities advanced by Coutts & Co.

 

During the period under review the Company has also sold Hume House for £3,900,000, a welcome profit over the purchase price of £1,670,000 in March 2014. This sale represents a 307% return overall on our investment and illustrates our strategy in action.

 

As noted in my statement on the Full Year results to 30 April 2018, the impact of IFRS reporting requirements has been to charge substantial costs against profit until the expiry of the Convertible Loan Notes in December 2019. From that date onwards, the Company's results will show the benefits from the ownership of the properties purchased without burden of the costs of the fundraising.

 

The support of the Company's shareholders has been recognised - as promised - with the payment of a first Interim dividend in respect of the current year on 9 November 2018. It is the Board's intention that this payment of 0.83 pence per share will be the first of three equal payments in respect of the year ending 30 April 2019. This compares with one payment, on 26 July 2018, in respect of the year ended 30 April 2018 of 1.25p.

 

The directors therefore face the future with confidence, continuing their successful policy of expansion by means of carefully-selected acquisitions resulting in affordable, increasing, dividend payments to shareholders.

 

 

Dr Tony Ghorayeb

Chairman

28 January 2019

 

 

Unaudited group statement of comprehensive income

for the six months ended 31 October 2018

 

 

   Six months ended 31 October 2018 (Unaudited)  

   Six months ended 31 October 2017 (Unaudited)  

 Year ended 30 April 2018 (Audited)

 

 

  GBP 

  GBP 

  GBP 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turnover

1,945,858

1,472,190

3,515,088

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gain / (loss) on disposal of investment property

499,549

-

(40,758)

 

Administrative expenses

(531,010)

(703,604)

(1,042,612)

 

Fair value gains on investment property

-

-

250,000

 

Fair value losses on assets held for sale

-

-

(250,000)

 

Finance cost

(1,585,594)

(417,850)

(2,219,199)

 

Finance income

5,496

1,550

1,622

 

Profit for the period

334,299

352,286

214,141

 

Taxation

(63,517)

(134,232)

147,154

 

Profit from continuing operations

270,782

218,054

361,295

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pence

pence

pence

Basic

 

0.67

                            0.55

 0.91

Diluted

 

0.46

                            0.43

                        0.61

                   

 

 

 

Unaudited group statement of financial position

at 31 October 2018

 

 

As at 31 October 2018 (Unaudited)  

As at 31 October 2017 (Unaudited)  

As at 30 April 2018

 (Audited)

 

  GBP 

GBP

  GBP 

ASSETS

 

 

 

Non-current assets

 

 

 

Investment properties

61,768,232

40,962,100

50,487,866

 

 

 

 

Current assets

 

 

 

Assets held for sale

4,349,000

8,416,000

7,734,000

Trade and other receivables

599,083

1,071,292

934,479

Cash and cash equivalents

4,350,540

4,313,808

5,180,225

 

9,298,623

13,801,100

13,848,704

 

 

 

 

TOTAL ASSETS

71,066,855

54,763,200

64,336,570

 

 

 

 

EQUITY AND LIABILITIES

 

 

 

Current Liabilities

 

 

 

Liabilities held for sale

1,559,999

2,537,521

2,587,141

Trade and other payables

2,310,538

1,551,972

1,239,869

Taxation

162,098

304,627

162,098

Borrowings

1,304,500

1,440,550

690,000

 

5,337,135

5,834,670

4,679,108

Non-current liabilities

 

 

 

Borrowings

45,352,687

29,038,366

40,003,625

Deferred tax

278,019

335,383

214,502

 

45,630,706

29,373,749

40,218,127

EQUITY

 

 

 

Issued capital and reserves

 

 

 

Share capital

10,299,074

10,021,156

10,065,887

Share premium reserve

8,301,222

7,508,463

7,643,310

Share option reserve

479,180

479,180

479,180

Other reserve

579,548

912,209

579,548

Treasury shares

(480,620)

(480,620)

(480,620)

Retained earnings

920,610

1,114,393

1,152,030

Total equity attributable to owners of the parent

20,099,014

19,554,781

19,439,335

TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES

71,066,855

 54,763,200

 64,336,570

         
 

 

Unaudited Group cash flow statement

for the six months ended 31 October 2018

 

 

   Six months ended 31 October 2018 (Unaudited)  

   Six months ended 31 October 2017

(Unaudited) 

 Year ended 30 April 2018 (Audited)

 

  GBP 

  GBP 

  GBP 

Profit before tax

334,299

352,286

214,141

Cash flow  from operating activities

 

 

 

Adjustments for:

 

 

 

Finance income

(5,496)

(1,550)

(1,622)

Finance costs

1,167,986

417,850

2,219,199

Gain on disposal of investment property

(499,549)

-

40,758

Decrease / (increase) in receivables

335,396

(893,126)

(756,313)

Increase in payables

1,070,670

518,547

476,019

Tax paid

-

-

(337,186)

Interest paid

(1,167,986)

(417,850)

(1,520,350)

Net cash generated / (used)  by operating activities

1,235,320

(23,843)

334,646

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

 

Interest received

5,496

1,550

1,622

Purchase of investment properties

(11,280,366)

(11,508,797)

(20,784,558)

Sale of investment properties

3,884,549

1,110,000

1,501,242

Net cash used by investing activities

(7,390,321)

(10,397,247)

(19,281,694)

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

 

Share issue, net of issue costs

891,099

575,300

85,300

Short term loans advanced

-

-

1,000,000

Long term loans advanced

6,308,562

15,100,529

26,673,688

Long term loan repaid

(1,372,142)

(898,020)

(3,593,404)

Equity dividend paid

(502,203)

(393,721)

(389,121)

Net cash generated by financing activities

5,325,316

14,384,088

23,776,463

Net (decrease) / increase in cash and cash equivalents

(829,685)

3,962,998

4,829,415

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the period

5,180,225

350,810

350,810

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period

4,350,540

4,313,808

5,180,225

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 2018. Those financial statements were prepared on a going concern basis.

 

The interim report for the six months to 31 October 2018 was approved by the Board on 28 January 2019

 

The Directors of Ace Liberty & Stone Plc accept responsibility for this announcement.

 

 

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Ace Liberty & Stone Plc

www.acelibertyandstone.com

Ivan Minter, Financial Director

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7201 8340

 

 

Alfred Henry Corporate Finance Ltd,

NEX Exchange Corporate Adviser

 

www.alfredhenry.com

Jon Isaacs / Nick Michaels

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3772 0021

 

 

Northland Capital Partners Limited

Broker

 

www.northlandcp.com

Vadim Alexandre / Abigail Wayne / Rob Rees

Tel: +44 (0)20 3861 6625 

 

 

Belvedere Communications

www.belvederepr.com

John West / Kim van Beeck

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3687 2756

 

 

ACF Equity Research

www.acfequityresearch.com

Christopher Nicholson / Amalia Barnoschi

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7558 8974

 

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

 

- Ends -

 


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