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Ambrian Capital PLC (AMBR)

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Wednesday 17 September, 2008

Ambrian Capital PLC

Interim Results

RNS Number : 6018D
Ambrian Capital PLC
17 September 2008
 





AMBRIAN CAPITAL PLC


Interim Results for the Six Months Ended 30 June 2008


Ambrian Capital plc, the natural resources investment bank, today announced its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2008.


Highlights 


Six months ended  

30 June 2008

Six months ended

30 June 2007 


Year ended

31 Dec 2007


£m 

£m

£m

Investment Banking Income

5.39

5.35

10.63

Investment Portfolio Income

(1.65)

9.52

5.20

Total Income

3.74

14.87

15.83

(Loss)/Profit Before Tax

(2.79)

10.02

5.79

(Loss)/Earnings per Share: Basic (pence)

(1.94)

6.60

4.32

Dividend per Share (pence)

0.75

0.75

1.75

Shareholders' Equity

42.10

51.91

45.04

Shareholders' Equity per Share (pence)

42.1

47.8

45.1



  • Investment Banking delivered solid results given the challenging market conditions with revenues maintained and a pre-tax profit margin of 12.2%

  • Retained by 50 corporate clients, an increase from 35 at 31 December 2007. The average market capitalisation of listed corporate clients was £81 million at 30 June 2008

  • Entered the physical metals business with the recruitment of an experienced team based in London and Shanghai and with agents in Calcutta, New York and Santiago

  • Continued strategy of realising the Investment Portfolio and re-investing the cash proceeds in operating businesses

  • Investment Portfolio suffered loss in market value, particularly holdings in Golden Prospect Precious Metals Limited and Jubilee Platinum plc

  • Shareholders' equity per share decreased 6.7% to 42.1p since 31 December 2007

  • Balance sheet remains strong, with net usable cash of £17.6 million at 30 June 2008

  • Interim dividend maintained at 0.75p per ordinary share



Commenting on the results, Tom Gaffney, Chief Executive of Ambrian Capital plc, said: 'Despite the challenging market conditions during the first half of 2008, the Investment Banking business delivered solid results due to our focus on the natural resources sector and continued high volatility in commodity prices which benefited our LME futures broker-dealer operations.


We took the opportunity to significantly increase our retained corporate client base by the acquisition of Nabarro Wells, which we have rapidly integrated and has already led to a number of new mandates.


We also expanded our commodities activities with the recruitment of a highly experienced team of physical metals dealers. This business complements our existing LME futures business.


Weak conditions in the equity markets negatively impacted the market value of our Investment Portfolio which under IFRS is reflected in our income statement. We continued our strategy of reducing the size of the Investment Portfolio and re-investing in our operating businesses. During the first half of 2008 we realised approximately £5.8 million of cash from sales of the Investment Portfolio and since 30 June we have realised an additional £4.25 million of cash.


The outlook for the balance of 2008 is uncertain; however, we remain well positioned to continue our growth with our focused business model and strong balance sheet.'


Tom Gaffney

Chief Executive Officer

Ambrian Capital plc

Tel: +44 (0)20 7634 4700


Mark Connelly

Collins Stewart Europe Ltd


Tel: +44 (0)20 7523 8350


Charlotte Kirkham

M: Communications


Tel: +44 (0)20 7153 1531



Notes to Editors:

1.

Ambrian Capital is an AIM listed independent investment banking group. Ambrian Capital provides corporate finance, stockbroking, commodity broking and investment management services to institutional and corporate clients active in the natural resources and alternative energy sectors. Ambrian Capital is also a principal investor in the natural resources sector.

2.

Ambrian Partners Limited, Ambrian Commodities Limited and Ambrian Asset Management are all authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Ambrian Partners Limited is a member of the London Stock Exchange and Ambrian Commodities Limited is an Associate Broker member of the London Metal Exchange.


Further information on Ambrian Capital is available on the Company's website: www.ambrian.com



CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S STATEMENT


Despite the challenging market conditions during the first half of 2008, the Investment Banking business delivered solid results due to our focus on the natural resources sector and continued high volatility in commodity prices which benefited our LME futures broker-dealer operations.


Weak conditions in the equity markets negatively impacted the market value of our Investment Portfolio which under IFRS is reflected in our income statement. We continued our strategy of reducing the size of our Investment Portfolio and re-investing in our operating business. During the first half of 2008 we realised approximately £5.8 million in cash from sales of the Investment Portfolio and since 30 June we have realised an additional £4.25 million of cash.


Given the strength and liquidity of the balance sheet, the Board has decided to maintain the interim dividend at 0.75p per share.


Financial Review


Total income for the first half of 2008 was £3.74 million (2007: £14.87 million).


Investment Banking income for the first half of 2007 was £5.39 million (2007: £5.35 million).  The Investment Portfolio incurred a loss of £1.65 million compared with a profit of £9.52 million for the first half of 2007.


Administrative expenses were £6.53 million (2007: £4.82 million) of which £5.05 million (2007 : £3.83 million) were represented by fixed costs. Administrative expenses included one-off costs associated with the acquisition of Nabarro Wells & Co Limited, start-up costs associated with the physical metals business and costs associated with the move to our new offices. Rigorous control of fixed costs is a central feature of the Group and staff remuneration is geared towards performance. Total headcount as at 30 June 2008 stood at 75, up 27 during the first half of 2008.


The loss before tax for the first half of 2008 was £2.79 million (2007: profit before tax £10.02 million).


Investment Banking profit before tax for the first half of 2008 was £0.66 million (2007: £1.66 million). This represented a 12.2% pre-tax profit margin (2007 : 31.0%).


The loss before tax from the Investment Portfolio was £3.45 million compared with a pre-tax profit of £8.36 million for the first half of 2007. All central costs are allocated to the Investment Portfolio.


The net loss after tax for the first half of 2008 was £1.94 million (2007: net profit after tax £7.00 million).


Basic loss per share was 1.94p (2007: basic earnings per share 6.60p).


Balance Sheet


The consolidated balance sheet remains strong, with a substantial excess over total regulatory capital requirements. Shareholders' equity was £42.1 million at 30 June 2008 (31 December 2007: £45.0 million), or 42.1p per share (31 December 2007: 45.1p per share).


The Group's cash resources, net of amounts due to clients, totalled £17.6 million at 30 June 2008 compared with £22.2 million at 31 December 2007. The cash utilised in operating activities during the period was £10.4 million largely due to an increase in the working capital of Ambrian Partners Limited, the payment of 2007 annual bonuses, the acquisition of Nabarro Wells, the entry into the physical metals business and the payment of the final 2007 dividend.


Our Investment Portfolio was valued at £13.7 million at 30 June 2008 compared with £20.5 million at 31 December 2007. The reduction in the size of the Investment Portfolio is due to a combination of the sale during the first half of 2008 of investments with an aggregate value of approximately £5.8 million and reductions in the market value of our investments in line with the well-publicised negative market conditions generally.


Total assets were £110.4 million at 30 June 2008 compared with £58.9 million at 31 December 2007. The increase is largely attributable to an increase in Trade and Other Receivables to £59.5 million (31 December 2007 : £6.0 million). Approximately half of the increase is related to the new physical metals business which purchases metal on behalf of clients typically on a hedged and matched basis. The metals purchases are funded under trade finance arrangements with a syndicate of major international banks and these are included in Trade and Other Payables. In addition, Trade and Other Receivables increased during the period as a result of increased activity in agency broking and market making. These are largely offset by market counterparties which are shown in Trade and Other Payables which totalled £54.7 million at 30 June 2008.


Dividend


The Board has declared a maintained interim dividend of 0.75p per share (2007: 0.75p). The dividend will be payable on 24 October 2008 to all shareholders on the register as at 3 October 2008.





Investment Banking


During the first half of 2008 we took two important steps to strengthen and broaden our Investment Banking business, specifically, the acquisition of Nabarro Wells in April and entering into the physical metals business in June.


Nabarro Wells has been rapidly integrated into Ambrian Partners. Nabarro Wells brought a high quality retained client base to which it provides nominated adviser services. Clients include First Calgary Petroleum Limited, Platinum Australia Limited and Ithaca Energy Inc. Our objective is to build on the nominated adviser relationships and offer to our new clients an expanded range of services. We have had a number of early successes, for example, we have additionally been appointed as corporate broker to Altona Resources plc, Indago Petroleum Limited, Renewable Energy Holdings plc and Toledo Mining Corporation plc.


During the first half of 2008 we also significantly expanded our commodities business with the recruitment of an experienced international physical metals team. The eight-strong team comprises salesmen, traders and logistics managers based in London and Shanghai. In addition, there are agents based in Calcutta, New York and Santiago.


Ambrian Partners Limited


Ambrian Partners Limited, our corporate finance and stockbroking subsidiary, had 50 core retained corporate clients at 30 June 2008 compared with 35 at 31 December 2007. In addition to the new clients brought by Nabarro Wells, significant new client wins include our appointment as nominated adviser and joint-broker to Avocet Mining plc and to Weatherly International plc. In a more challenging equity market environment, our retained corporate client base provides a stream of recurring revenues and positions Ambrian Partners at the centre of providing advisory and capital raising services to our clients.  


Our capital raising business has not been immune to the slow-down in new issue activity on AIM, nevertheless, the strength of our natural resources franchise is demonstrated by the transactions we completed in the difficult market conditions prevailing in the first half of 2008, which included : 


  • £14.4 million equity capital raising for Kalahari Minerals plc


  • £10.3 million equity capital raising for Dwyka Resources Limited


  • £7.6 million equity capital raising for Pangea Diamondfields plc


  • £4.2 million equity capital raising for Block Shield Corporation plc


Ambrian Partners has established a particularly strong presence in the AIM natural resources sector. According to the 'Hemscott July 2008 Advisers Ranking Guide', Ambrian Partners was ranked first in terms of both (i) retained nominated adviser clients and (ii) number of stockbroking clients in the Basic Materials Sector (which includes the metals and mining sector) on AIM. Ambrian Partners was also ranked fourth in terms of number of nominated adviser clients in the Oil & Gas sector on AIM. 


Given the prominence of natural resources companies on AIM, Ambrian Partners also ranked second in terms of number of clients and fifth by client market capitalisation within the FTSE AIM 100 Index that comprises the largest companies on AIM.


Commodities


Ambrian Commodities Limited benefited from increased customer activity in the first half of 2008 resulting from high volatility in metals prices, for example, the 3-month forward copper price ranged between $6,680/tonne to $8,880/tonne during the period. Trading volumes on the LME were significantly higher in the first half of 2008 compared with the first half of 2007, for example, the volume of nickel traded was up 31.6%, lead was up 31.0%, and grade A copper was up 16.4%. Ambrian Commodities' international client base of industrial users of metals made active use of the LME to hedge either their raw material costs or output prices. Ambrian Commodities' LME traders also profited from the increased order flow provided by the expanded sales team.


The entry into the physicals metals business represents a major step forward and is expected to make a positive contribution in the second half of 2008. We have recruited a first-class team with extensive experience of the metals markets. Ambrian Metals Limited, our newly formed and wholly-owned Swiss registered subsidiary, globally sources non-ferrous metals, with a particular focus on copper, from producers for distribution to an international client base. Ambrian Metals provides its clients with a consistently high quality product, logistics services and price management. Ambrian Metals manages all facets of marketing and distribution including financing from producers to consumers and has put in place committed trade finance facilities with a syndicate of major international banks including BNP Paribas, ING and Standard Chartered Bank.


Investment Portfolio


The Investment Portfolio incurred a loss of £1.65 million in the first half of 2008 as a result of the deterioration in stock market conditions . The most significant losses were attributable to losses in our investments in Golden Prospect Precious Metals Limited ('GPPM') (loss of £1.4 million), Jubilee Platinum plc (loss of £0.4 million) and Minerva Resources plc (loss of £0.2 million). These were in part offset by profits in certain of our other investments.


The total value of the Investment Portfolio at 30 June 2008 was £13.73 million compared with £20.52 million at 31 December 2007. The reduction in the size of the Investment Portfolio is due to a combination of £5.8 million of realisations and a reduction in market values.


Our principal realisations during the first half of 2008 included the sale of our holdings in Nido Petroleum Limited (£3.4 million), Jubilee Platinum plc (£1.0 million), Kairiki Energy Limited (£0.9 million) and European Gas Limited (£0.4 million).


On 28 July 2008, Ambrian Capital sold its 49.96% stake in GPPM for total cash proceeds of approximately £4.24 million. Ambrian Capital retained 2.9 million warrants in GPPM in order to be able to participate in any recovery in the performance of GPPM. Effective 15 September 2008 Ambrian Asset Management Limited novated the investment management agreement with GPPM to a new investment manager.


The composition of our Investment Portfolio at 30 June 2008 was as follows : 



Market Value

£m 



GPPM shares & warrants (sold 28 July 2008)

4.3

Anglesey Mining plc

2.2

Minerva Resources plc

1.8

Samson Oil & Gas NL

1.5

Jubilee Platinum plc

1.0

Commodity Watch plc

0.5

GPPM warrants (retained)

0.4

Uranium One Inc

0.2

North Australian Diamond Mines Limited

0.2

Other

0.7

Total Quoted Investments 

12.8

Unlisted Investments at Book Value

0.9

Total Investment Portfolio

13.7


Our remaining investments will continue to be realised as fair value is achieved and liquidity opportunities arise.


Outlook


Given the current market turmoil the outlook for the remainder of 2008 remains unclear. Our Investment Banking revenues are dependent upon activity levels in the equity and commodity markets. Despite the major steps we have taken to reduce the size of the Investment Portfolio, market movements in its value will continue to affect reported short-term Group profitability.


Despite short term volatility the demand for natural resources will remain. We are confident that over the long-term we will be able to build value based on our focus on the natural resources sector, our exposure to both equities and commodities and our strong and liquid balance sheet.




Tom Gaffney

Chief Executive

17 September 2008 




Unaudited condensed consolidated interim income statement






6 months to 30 June 2008

£

6 months to 30 June 2007 

£

Year to 31 December 2007 

£





Total income




Investment banking

5,388,169

5,352,784

10,635,226

Investment portfolio

(1,647,473)

9,514,801

5,199,494


________

________

_________


3,740,696

14,867,585

15,834,720

Administrative expenditure

(6,528,491)

(4,819,484)

(10,014,900)

Finance costs

-

(28,652)

(32,628)


________

________

________

(Loss) / profit before tax

(2,787,795)

10,019,449

5,787,192

Taxation

844,766

(3,011,130)

(1,273,636)


_________

________

________

(Loss)/profit for the period from continuing activities

(1,943,029)

7,008,319

4,513,556


_________

_______

________

(Loss)/profit for the period

(1,943,029)

7,008,319

4,513,556


=======

=====

=====

Attributable to:




Equity holders of the parent

(1,943,029)

7,008,319

4,513,556


======

=====

=====

Earnings per share:

Pence

Pence

Pence





Basic earnings per share:

(1.94)

6.60

4.32


====

===

===

Diluted earnings per share

(1.94)

6.25

4.18


====

===

===



Unaudited condensed consolidated interim balance sheet



30 June 

2008


£

30 June 

2007 


£

31 December 2007 

£





ASSETS








Non-current assets




Property, plant and equipment

466,538

173,054

126,852

Intangible assets

2,536,828

1,836,828

1,836,828


________

________

________


3,003,366

2,009,882

1,963,680


________

________

________





Current assets




Financial assets

19,044,311

32,810,513

23,888,023

Trade and other receivables

59,526,155

3,976,535

5,989,445

Cash at bank and in hand 

28,815,027

26,796,044

27,080,761


________

________

________


107,385,493

63,583,092

56,958,229

Non-current assets classified as held for sale

-

1,557,500

-


________

________

________


107,385,493

65,140,592

56,958,229


________

________

________

Total assets

110,388,859

67,150,474

58,921,909


=======

======

======





LIABILITIES




Current liabilities




Trade and other payables

(54,719,289)

(2,034,403)

(5,433,599)

Amounts due to clients

(11,253,764)

(6,883,254)

(4,877,995)

Current tax payable

(1,605,001)

(1,573,639)

(1,482,563)


________

________

________


(67,578,054)

(10,491,296)

(11,794,157)


________

________

________





Non-current liabilities




Deferred tax liabilities

(715,657)

(4,752,717)

(2,090,110)


________

________

________

Total non-current liabilities

(715,657)

(4,752,717)

(2,090,110)


________

________

________

Total liabilities

(68,293,711)

(15,244,013)

(13,884,267)


________

________

________

Net assets 

42,095,148

51,906,461

45,037,642


=======

======

======





30 June 

2008


£

30 June 

2007 


£

31 December 2007 

£





EQUITY








Equity




Called up share capital 

11,136,121

10,856,121

11,136,121

Share premium account

11,105,383

10,949,383

11,105,383

Merger reserve

1,245,256

1,245,256

1,245,256

Treasury shares

(163,217)

(163,217)

(163,217)

Retained earnings

24,015,082

30,242,673

26,957,576

Employee benefit trust

(5,879,819)

(1,813,557)

(5,879,819)

Reserve for share-based payments

636,342

589,802

636,342


________

________

________

Total equity attributable to the holders of the parent

42,095,148

51,906,461

45,037,642


=======

=======

======



Unaudited condensed consolidated interim statement of changes in equity




Share 

capital

Share premium account





Merger

 reserve


Reserve  

for share-

based 

payments

 reserves




Employee

benefit

trust





Treasury

 shares



Profit 

and 

loss

 account






Total





Minority 

interest





Total 

equity


£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

Balance at 31 December 

2006

10,806,121

10,849,383

1,245,256

543,262

(1,813,557)

(163,217)

24,278,739 

45,745,987

3,483,677

49,229,664























Total recognised income 

and expense for the period











Profit for the period

-

-

-

-

-

-

7,008,319  

7,008,319

-

7,008,319


Changes in equity for first 

half of 2007

Share option charge

-

-



-



46,540



-



-



-



46,540



-



46,540

Elimination of minority 

interest

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

(3,483,677)

(3,483,677)

Dividends

-

-

-

-

-

-

(1,044,385)

(1,044,385)

-

(1,044,385)

Issue of share capital

50,000

100,000

-

-

-

-

-

150,000

-

150,000













Balance at 30 June 2007

 

10,856,121

 

10,949,383


1,245,256


589,802


(1,813,557)


(163,217)


30,242,673


51,906,461


-


51,906,461
















Share 

capital

Share premium account




Merger

 reserve

Reserve

 for share-

based 

payments

 reserves



Employee

benefit

trust




Treasury

 shares



Profit and 

loss 

account





Total




Minority

 interest





Total equity


£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£












Balance at 31 December 2006

10,806,121

10,849,383

1,245,256

543,262

(1,813,557)

(163,217)

24,278,739

45,745,987

3,483,677

49,229,664












Total recognised income 

and expense for the period

Profit for the period

-

-



-



-



-



-



4,513,556



4,513,556



-



4,513,556


Changes in equity for 2007











Minority interest arising on 

acquisition

-

-


-


-


-


-


-


-


(3,483,677)


(3,483,677)

Purchase of shares

-

-

-

-

(4,066,262)

-

-

(4,066,262)

-

(4,066,262)

Share option charge

-

-

-

93,080

-

-

-

93,080

-

93,080

Dividends

-

-

-

-

-

-

(1,834,719)

(1,834,719)

-

(1,834,719)

Issue of share capital

330,000

256,000

-

-

-

-

-

586,000

-

586,000












Balance at 31 December 2007

11,136,121

11,105,383

1,245,256

636,342

(5,879,819)

(163,217)

26,957,576

45,037,642

-

45,037,642
















Share capital

Share premium account





Merger reserve



Reserve for share-based payments reserves




Employee

benefit

trust





Treasury shares





Profit and loss account






Total equity


£

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

Balance at 31 December 2007

11,136,121

11,105,383

1,245,256

636,342

(5,879,819)

(163,217)

26,957,576

45,037,642










Changes in equity for 2008



























Share option charge

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Loss for the period

-

-

-

-

-

-

(1,943,029)

(1,943,029)










Total recognised income 

and expense for the period

11,136,121

11,105,383


1,245,256


636,342


(5,879,819)


(163,217)


25,014,547


43,094,613










Dividends

-

-

-

-

-

-

(999,465)

(999,465)










Balance at 30 June 2008

11,136,121

11,105,383

1,245,256

636,342

(5,879,819)

(163,217)

24,015,082

42,095,148











Unaudited condensed consolidated interim cash flow statement


6 months 

to 30 June 

2008


£

6 months

to 30 June 

2007 


£

Year

to 31 December 2007 

£

Cash flows from operating activities




(Loss)/profit after taxation

(1,943,029)

7,008,319

4,513,556

Adjustments for:

-

-

-

  Depreciation 

65,442

43,132

104,954

  Foreign exchange (gain)

(25,011)

(331,825)

(357,915)

  Taxation expense recognised in income 

  statement


(844,766)


3,011,130


1,273,636

  (Increase) in trade and other receivables

(53,536,710)

(119,904)

(2,132,815)

  Decrease in financial assets designated at fair

  value


4,843,712


1,928,778


4,009,590

  Realised gains on financial assets designated at

  fair value




(9,209,084)

  Net proceeds on disposals of financial assets

  designated at fair value




17,608,262

  Increase/(Decrease) in trade payables

49,285,690

(2,164,391)

1,234,805

  Increase/(Decrease) in amounts owed to clients

6,375,769

(6,488,357)

(8,493,618)

  Employee benefit trust

-

-

(4,066,262)

  Share-based payment reserve

-

46,540

93,080


________

________

________

Cash generated from operations

4,221,097

2,933,422

4,578,189

Taxation

(407,249)

(2,483,010)

(3,499,196)


________

________

________

Net cash from operating activities

3,813,848

450,412

1,078,993


________

________

________

Cash flows from investing activities




Purchase of property, plant and equipment

(405,128)

(16,420)

(32,040)

Acquisition of subsidiary

(700,000)

(3,483,677)

(3,483,677)


________

________

________

Net cash used in investing activities

(1,105,128)

(3,500,097)

(3,515,717)


________

________

________

Cash flows from financing activities




Proceeds from issue of share capital 

-

150,000

586,000

Dividends paid

(999,465)

(1,044,385)

(1,834,719)


________

________

________

Net cash used in financing activities

(999,465)

(894,385)

(1,248,719)


________

________

________





Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 

1,709,255

(3,944,070)

(3,685,443)

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of

period


27,080,761


30,408,289


30,408,289

Foreign exchange gains / (losses)

25,011

331,825

357,915


________

________

________

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

28,815,027

26,796,044

27,080,761


=======

======

======



Notes to the unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements


1.

Basis of preparation


The interim financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the accounting policies previously adopted for the year ended 31 December 2007 are based on the recognition and measurement principles of IFRS in issue as adopted by the European Union (EU) and are effective at 31 December 2007.

The interim financial statements are for the six months ended 30 June 2008. They do not include all of the information required for full annual financial statements, and should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements of the Group for the year ended 31 December 2007.

The interim financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention, except for revaluation of certain financial assets.

The accounting policies have been applied consistently throughout the Group for the purposes of preparation of the interim financial statements.

The financial information set out in these interim financial statements does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in Section 240 of the Companies Act 1985. The Group's statutory financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2007, prepared under IFRS, have been filed with the Registrar of Companies. The auditor's report on those financial statements was unqualified and did not contain a statement under Section 237(2) of the Companies Act 1985.

These interim financial statements have neither been audited nor reviewed by the Group's external auditors.

The interim financial statements were approved by the Directors on 16 September 2008 and copies are available to the public free of charge from the company at Old Change House, 128 Queen Victoria StreetLondon EC4V 4BJ during normal office hours, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays excepted, for 14 days from today.

2.

Income


The group's income is derived from investment banking and the performance of the Group's investment portfolio. 

6 months to 30 June 2008 - unaudited



Investment banking

Investment portfolio

Total

Operating income

5,388,169

(1,647,473)

3,740,696



=========================

=========================

=========================


6 months to 30 June 2007 - unaudited



Investment banking

Investment portfolio

Total

Operating income

5,352,784

9,514,801

14,867,585



=========================

=========================

=========================


Year to 31 December 2007 - audited



Investment banking

Investment portfolio

Total

Operating income

10,635,226

5,199,494

15,834,720



=========================

=========================

=========================


Operating income includes investment and other income. The investment portfolio includes realised and unrealised gains on financial assets.

3.

Share Issue


Shares issued and authorised for the period to 30 June 2008 may be summarised as follows:

6 months to 30 June 2008 - unaudited


Number

£

At 1 January 2008

111,361,208

11,136,121

Issue of shares

-

-

At 30 June 2008

111,361,208

11,136,121


=========================

=========================


6 months to 30 June 2007- unaudited


Number

£

At 1 January 2007

108,061,208

10,806,121

Issue of shares

500,000

50,000

At 30 June 2007

108,561,208

10,856,121


=========================

=========================


Year to 31 December 2007 - audited


Number

£

At 1 January 2007

108,061,208

10,806,121

Issue of shares

3,300,000

330,000

At 31 December 2007

111,361,208

11,136,121


=========================

=========================


4.

Earnings per Share


The calculation of the basic earnings per share is based on the earnings attributable to ordinary shareholders divided by the weighted average number of shares in issue during the year, excluding shares held in the Employee Benefit Trust and Treasury shares.

The calculation of diluted earnings per share is based on the basic earnings per share, adjusted to allow for the issue of shares on the assumed conversion of all dilutive options.

Reconciliations of the earnings and weighted average number of shares used in the calculations are set out below.

Continuing operations

6 months to 30 June 2008 - unaudited 





Earnings



£

Weighted average number of shares

Per share amount


Pence





Basic earnings per share

(1,943,029)

99,944,165

(1.94)


======

======

===





Diluted earnings per share

(1,943,029)

99,944,165

(1.94)


======

=======

===





6 months to 30 June 2007 - unaudited 





Earnings



£

Weighted average number of shares

Per share amount


Pence





Basic earnings per share

7,008,319

106,150,905

6.60

Dilutive effect of share options


6,024,242



________

________

____

Diluted earnings per share

7,008,319

112,175,147

6.25


======

=======

===





Year to 31 December 2007 - audited 





Earnings



£

Weighted average number of shares

Per share amount


Pence





Basic earnings per share

4,513,556

104,406,818

4.32

Dilutive effect of share options


3,612,831



________

________

____

Diluted earnings per share

4,513,556

108,019,649

4.18


======

=======

===



This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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