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W.H. Ireland Group (WHI)

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Tuesday 05 August, 2003

W.H. Ireland Group

Interim Results

W.H. Ireland Group PLC
05 August 2003



                             W.H. IRELAND GROUP PLC

                                INTERIM RESULTS
                       FOR THE SIX MONTHS TO 31 MAY 2003

                                   Key Points

   •Turnover up by 21% to £4.1 million (2002: £3.4 million)

   •Operating loss down by 95% to £18,000 (2002: loss £387,000)

   •Loss before tax down by 66% to £160,000 (2002: loss £469,000)

   •Loss per share down by 62% to 1.09p (2002: loss 2.86p).

   •Net Assets of £6.3 million equivalent to 42.14p per ordinary share

   •Interim dividend of 0.5p per share (2002: 0.5p) with a scrip dividend
    alternative

   •Acquisition of Carr Sheppards Crosthwaite's Cardiff office on 4th August
    2003

Chairman, Sir David Trippier, commented,

' I am very pleased to be able to report on significantly improved trading
figures for the half year period. During that time the uncertainty in the market
and the subsequent fall in volumes prior to the second major conflict with Iraq
led to difficult market conditions and it is a great credit to all involved in
the group that we have produced such an improved result. We have continued to
invest in our business, developing our branch offices and improving our
corporate finance capability.

Trading in the second half of the financial year has started well and it is to
be hoped that the current stock market stability will remain, in which case we
are well positioned for further progress. However, we remain a volume sensitive
business and the results for the next four months will depend on the market
remaining firm'.

Press enquiries:

W.H. Ireland Group plc                        Tel: 0161 832 6644
Laurie Beevers, chief executive
Richard Lee, director

Biddicks                                      Tel: 020 7448 1000
Katie Tzouliadis


CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

I am very pleased to be able to report on significantly improved trading figures
for the half year period. During that time the uncertainty in the market and the
subsequent fall in volumes prior to the second major conflict with Iraq led to
difficult market conditions and it is a great credit to all involved in the
group that we have produced such an improved result. We have continued to invest
in our business, developing our branch offices and improving our corporate
finance capability.

The results for the period show that on turnover which increased from £3.4m to
£4.1m, our losses before tax declined from £410,000 to £160,000 - a significant
improvement, even more pleasing when compared with our losses in the second half
of last year of £1,142,000. Our operating loss was reduced to £18,000 from the
figure of £387,000 for the same period last year.

As referred to in my chairman's statement in the published annual accounts, in
December 2002 the corporate finance department concluded its largest transaction
since inception. Highland Gold became the second largest company on AIM
following its £210m admission and placing by W H Ireland Limited. This was a
complex cross BORDER='0' transaction of the third largest operating gold mine in
Russia where we acted alongside a number of City advisors to bring the flotation
to a successful completion. We continue to act as Nominated Adviser and Broker
to the company. After the period end we gained approval from the United Kingdom
Listing Authority to act as sponsor in all aspects of flotations, rights issues,
takeovers etc. for fully listed companies in the United Kingdom, again a credit
to our corporate finance team.

Our traditional stockbroking activity has continued to develop and we have
opened one new office in Tunbridge Wells and have continued to add to the team.
In Cardiff we have acquired the branch office of Carr Sheppards Crosthwaite and
added this to our existing office in Cardiff which now numbers 6 stockbrokers
and 3 support staff. We also have added stockbroking activities to our Corporate
Finance office in Birmingham. Our London office has also performed particularly
well in a difficult trading period. We have continued to re-adjust our overhead
base and add to our sales force. Although our overheads have risen during the
period, this expenditure includes redundancy and reorganisation costs and
certain special insurance costs where we took out additional insurance to cover
the level of corporate transactions we were completing.

Our associated investments have performed broadly as expected. Ultimate Finance,
the invoice finance company in which we have a 27% holding has made a loss in
line with budget for its start up period. Our holding in W.H.I. Securities Pty
Limited, our Australian associate, has reduced since the period end and in
future will be treated as an investment.

Trading in the second half of the financial year has started well and it is to
be hoped that the current stock market stability will remain, in which case we
are well positioned for further progress. However, we remain a volume sensitive
business and the results for the next four months will depend on the market
remaining firm. In view of the improving performance evidenced above, the Board
has decided to pay a dividend of 0.5p on 31st October 2003 to shareholders on
the register at 12th September 2003. We will again be offering a scrip dividend
alternative.

We believe strongly that over the longer term investment in the equity market,
coupled with sound investment advice will provide one of the best vehicles to
protect client assets for the future.

I would like to thank all my colleagues at W.H.Ireland for their hard work and
commitment during the past months.

Sir David Trippier, RD, JP, DL, MSI.

Chairman

Consolidated Profit and Loss Account

For the six months ended 31 May 2003

                             Unaudited      Unaudited
                              6 months       6 months          Audited
                                 ended          ended    12 months ended
                           31 May 2003    31 May 2002      30 Nov 2002
                                 £'000          £'000            £'000

Group turnover                   4,096          3,386            6,438

Administration expenses         (4,114)        (3,773)          (7,497)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------

Group operating loss               (18)          (387)          (1,059)
Share of operating loss            
in associates                      (81)           (41)            (143)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------
Share of non trading
decrease in net assets
of associates                        -              -              (71)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------

                                   (99)          (428)          (1,273)

Other interest receivable           
and similar income                  81             66              141

Amounts written off                  
investments                          -              -             (153)

Interest payable and              
similar charges                   (142)          (107)            (254)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------

Loss on ordinary                  
activities before
taxation                          (160)          (469)          (1,539)

Tax on loss on ordinary              
activities                           -             59              (13)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------

Loss on ordinary                  
activities after
taxation                          (160)          (410)          (1,552)

Dividends on equity                
shares                             (75)           (72)            (146)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------

Retained loss for the             
period for the group              (235)          (482)          (1,698)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------

Earnings per share - in accordance with FRS
14

- Basic                          (1.09)p        (2.86)p         (10.84)p

- Diluted                        (1.09)p        (2.78)p         (10.50)p





Earnings per share - in accordance with
guidelines issued by UK Society of
Investment Professionals

- Basic                          (0.74)p        (2.50)p         (10.12)p

- Diluted                        (0.74)p        (2.43)p          (9.81)p



Statement of Total Recognised Gains and Losses

                             Unaudited      Unaudited          Audited
                              6 months       6 months    12 months ended
                                 ended          ended      30 Nov 2002
                           31 May 2003    31 May 2002
                                 £'000          £'000            £'000


Loss for the period               (235)          (482)          (1,698)

Unrealised surplus on
revaluation of fixed
asset investments                  175            746             (176)

Realised surplus on
revaluation of fixed
asset investments                    -             48                -

Taxation on realised
surplus on revaluation of
fixed asset investments              -            (10)               -

Taxation refund on
previous year's realised
surplus on revaluation of
fixed asset investments              -              -              171

Foreign exchange
difference on the
carrying value of the
joint venture                        -              3                -

Non trading increase in              
net assets of                
associates                           -              -               16
                             -----------    -----------      -----------

Total recognised (loss)/           
gain for the period                (60)           305           (1,687)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------


Note of Historical Cost Profits and Losses

                             Unaudited      Unaudited
                              6 months       6 months          Audited
                                 ended          ended    12 months ended
                           31 May 2003    31 May 2002      30 Nov 2002
                                 £'000          £'000            £'000

Reported loss on ordinary
activities before
taxation                          (160)          (469)          (1,539)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------

Realisation of fixed
asset investment
revaluation gains                    -             48              378
                             -----------    -----------      -----------


Historical cost loss on
ordinary activities
before taxation                   (160)          (421)          (1,161)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------

Historical cost loss
retained for the period
after the provision for
taxation and dividends            (235)          (441)          (1,149)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------


Consolidated Balance Sheet
As at 31 May 2003

                       Unaudited            Unaudited              Audited
                     31 May 2003          31 May 2002          30 Nov 2002
                           £'000                £'000                £'000

Fixed
assets

Intangible                 
assets                     1,801                1,904                1,853

Tangible                   
assets                     4,835                4,926                4,963

Investments                2,642                4,005                2,453
                          -------              -------              -------

Investment in
associates
and joint
ventures                     329                   12                  402
                           -------              -------              -------

                           9,607               10,847                9,671

Current
assets

Debtors         35,817               26,769               28,794

Investments          7                   15                   18

Cash at bank     
and in hand      3,079                4,362                3,005
                 -------              -------              -------

                38,903               31,146               31,817

Creditors due  (37,215)             (28,489)             (30,009)
within one       -------              -------              -------
year

Net current                1,688                2,657                1,808
assets                     -------              -------              -------


Total assets              
less current
liabilities               11,295               13,504               11,479

Creditors due            
after one                  
year                      (4,961)              (5,148)              (5,115)
                           -------              -------              -------

Net assets                 6,334                8,356                6,364
                           -------              -------              -------

Capital &
reserves

Called up       
share
capital                      752                  946                  946

Shares to be                 
issued                       283                  425                  425

Share premium              
account                    1,457                1,300                1,300

Capital                      
redemption                   226                    -                    -
reserve

Investment                 
revaluation                2,497                3,623                2,323
reserve

Other                        
reserves                     754                  544                  544

Retained                     
profits                      365                1,518                  826
                           -------              -------              -------
   

Equity                     
shareholders               
funds                      6,334                8,356                6,364
                           -------              -------              -------


Net assets                 
per ordinary
share                      42.14p               58.09p               44.24p

Consolidated Cash Flow Statement

                             Unaudited      Unaudited          Audited
                              6 months       6 months    12 months ended
                                 ended          ended      30 Nov 2002
                           31 May 2003    31 May 2002
                                 £'000          £'000            £'000

Net cash inflow/(outflow)
from operating
activities                         172         (1,190)          (1,885)

Returns on investments             
and servicing of
finance                            (61)           (35)            (107)

Taxation                           115              3             (169)

Capital expenditure and            
financial investment               (80)        (4,207)          (3,968)

Acquisitions and                     
disposals                            -              -             (550)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------
 

Cash inflow/(outflow)
before management of
liquid resources and
financing                          146         (5,429)          (6,679)

Equity dividends paid              (26)          (144)            (216)

Financing                          (46)         3,973            3,937
                             -----------    -----------      -----------
 

Increase/(decrease) in              
cash in the period                  74         (1,600)          (2,958)
                             -----------    -----------      -----------


Reconciliation of operating profit to operating cash flow

                             Unaudited      Unaudited          Audited
                              6 months       6 months    12 months ended
                                 ended          ended      30 Nov 2002
                           31 May 2003    31 May 2002            £'000
                                 £'000          £'000

Operating loss                     (18)          (387)          (1,059)
Depreciation                       172            192              343
Amortisation                        51             51              103
Profit on sale of fixed             
assets                              (1)            (7)              (7)
(Increase)/decrease in          
debtors                         (7,138)        18,551           16,663
Increase/(decrease) in           
creditors                        7,096        (19,597)         (17,932)
Decrease in current asset           
investments                         10              7                4
                            -----------    -----------      -----------
                                   172         (1,190)          (1,885)
                            -----------    -----------      -----------

Analysis of net debt

                             At beginning of  Cash flow    At end of the
                                the period                      period
                                     £'000        £'000          £'000

Cash at bank and in hand             3,005           74          3,079
Debt due within one year              (176)         (88)          (264)
Debt due after one year             (4,770)         135         (4,635)
Finance leases                         (44)          (2)           (46)
                                 -----------  -----------    -----------
                                    (1,985)         119         (1,866)
                                 -----------  -----------    -----------

NOTES

    1.  The interim report, which is the responsibility of the directors and has
    not been audited, was approved by the directors on 4th August 2003.

    2. The figures for the six months ended 31st May 2003 have been prepared
    using the same accounting policies as for the year ended 30th November 2002.

    3. These unaudited interim financial statements do not constitute statutory
    accounts. They have, however, been reviewed by the auditors whose report is
    included. The figures for the year ended 30th November 2002 have been
    extracted from the audited accounts for that year. The comparative figures
    for the financial year ended 30th November 2002 are not the company's
    statutory accounts for that year. Those accounts have been reported on by
    the company's auditors and delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The
    report of the auditors was unqualified and did not contain a statement under
    section 237(2) or (3) of the Companies Act 1985.

4. Share premium and reserves

               Revaluation  Capital reserve     Capital      Share      Profit and
                 reserve                     redemption    Premium    loss account
                                                reserve    account
                   £'000            £'000         £'000      £'000           £'000


At beginning       
of period          2,322              545             -      1,300             826

Premium on
new shares
issued as
part
consideration
on
acquisition
of Stockholm
Investments            -                -             -        122               -

Premium on
shares issued
in settlement
of scrip
dividend               -                -             -         35               -

Increase in
value of
investments          175                -             -          -               -

Transfer on
cancellation
of deferred
ordinary
shares                 -                -           226          -            (226)

Consolidation
adjustment on
redemption of
deferred
ordinary
shares                 -              209             -          -               -
                 ---------         --------     ---------   --------        --------

Retained loss
for the
period                 -                -             -          -            (235)
                 ---------         --------     ---------   --------        --------
                   2,497              754           226      1,457             365
                 ---------         --------     ---------   --------        --------

 5. •On 31st December 2002 396,270 new ordinary shares of 5p each were issued at
    a price of 35.75p per share in part consideration of the first tranche of
    the deferred consideration due on the acquisition of Stockholm Investments
    Limited. On 30th May 2003 249,943 new ordinary shares of 5p each were issued
    in satisfaction of the scrip dividend alternative for the final dividend for
    the year ended 30th November 2002. On 30th May 2003 4,526,660 deferred
    ordinary shares of 5p each, being the total number of issued deferred
    ordinary shares, were bought back at par and cancelled. Accordingly at the
    same time an amount equal to the nominal value of the shares cancelled was
    transferred from the Profit and Loss Account Reserve to a Capital Redemption
    Reserve.

    6 The company has adopted FRS19 'Deferred Tax' for the six months ended 31st
    May 2003, but adopting this policy has no material effect on the comparative
    figures for the six months ended 31st May 2002.

    7. A final dividend for the year ended 30th November 2002 of 0.5p per share
    costing £73,906 was paid on 30th May 2003. It is proposed that an interim
    dividend for the year ending 30th November 2003 of 0.5p per share costing
    £75,156 be paid on 31st October 2003 to shareholders on the register on 12th
    September 2003.

    8  The basic earnings per share for the period has been calculated by
    dividing the profit on ordinary activities after taxation by the weighted
    average number of shares in issue during the period being 14,625,082 (six
    months to 31st May 2002, 14,319,506) and year ended 30th November 2002,
    14,321,754). Diluted earnings per share is the basic earnings per share
    adjusted for the effect of the conversion into fully paid shares of the
    weighted average number of all share options and warrants outstanding during
    the year. The additional weighted average number of shares used for the
    diluted calculation is nil (six months to 31st May 2002 448,058, and year
    ended 30th November 2002 453,997).

    9. In a number of instances Split Capital Investment Trusts ('Splits') have
    either failed or performed poorly in the past two years. The UK's financial
    regulator, The Financial Services Authority, is currently undertaking a
    review of the Splits sector. There has also been speculation that legal
    action may be brought against a range of parties involved in the sector. No
    legal action has been served against any company in the group and in the
    event that the group were to be included in any such proceedings this would
    be robustly defended. A detailed review of the group's exposure to clients
    deriving from their holdings in Splits has been undertaken. Based on this
    review, the facts at the current time and the present progress of the
    regulatory review, the board does not consider that any material provision
    is required in respect of this issue.



INDEPENDENT REVIEW REPORT BY KPMG AUDIT PLC

Introduction

We have been instructed by the company to review the financial information for
the six months ended 31st May 2003, which comprises: the consolidated profit and
loss account; statement of total recognised gains and losses; note of historical
cost profits and losses; consolidated balance sheet; consolidated cash flow
statement; reconciliation of operating profit to operating cash flow; analysis
of net debt and notes 1 to 9. We have read the other information contained in
the interim report and considered whether it contains any apparent misstatements
or material inconsistencies with the financial information.

This report is made solely to the company in accordance with the terms of our
engagement. Our review has been undertaken so that we might state to the company
those matters we are required to state to it in this report and for no other
purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by company law we do not accept or
assume responsibility to anyone other than the company for our review work, for
this report, or for conclusions we have reached.

Directors' responsibilities

The interim report, including the financial information contained therein, is
the responsibility of, and has been approved by, the directors.

Review work performed

We conducted our review in accordance with guidance contained in Bulletin 1999/
4: Review of interim financial information issued by the Auditing Practices
Board. A review consists principally of making enquiries of Group management and
applying analytical procedures to the financial information and underlying
financial data and, based thereon, assessing whether the accounting policies and
presentation have been consistently applied unless otherwise disclosed. A review
is substantially less in scope than an audit performed in accordance with
Auditing Standards and therefore provides a lower level of assurance than an
audit. Accordingly we do not express an audit opinion on the financial
information.

Review conclusion

On the basis of our review we are not aware of any material modifications that
should be made to the financial information as presented for the six months
ended 31st May 2003.



KPMG Audit Plc
Chartered Accountants
Leeds

                                                                 4th August 2003


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