Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

W.H. Ireland Group (WHI)

  Print      Mail a friend

Monday 19 July, 2004

W.H. Ireland Group

Interim Results

W.H. Ireland Group PLC
19 July 2004



                              WH IRELAND GROUP PLC

                                INTERIM RESULTS

                    FOR THE 6 MONTH PERIOD TO 31ST MAY 2004

                                   KEY POINTS


   • Turnover doubled for the period rising from £4 million to £8.1 million


   • Strong profit growth with £1.032 million profit before taxation for the
     period (2003: loss £160,000)


   • Earnings per share rising to 4.41p (2003: loss 1.09p)


   • Net assets of £8.3 million (equivalent to 53.12p per ordinary share)


   • Interim dividend raised to 0.75p (2003: 0.5p) with a scrip dividend
     alternative


   • The Corporate Finance Department  has advised on 12 flotations in the
     period


   • Financial Services has made a substantial contribution to profit


   • Successful expansion in Cardiff and Birmingham


   • Strong growth in the London office

Commenting, WH Ireland's Chairman Sir David Trippier, said:

'The second half will be influenced by the level of market activity. However, we
anticipate a continued, controlled and balanced expansion of the group.'


Press enquiries:

W.H. Ireland Group plc                                           0161 832 6644
Laurie Beevers, Chief Executive


CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

I am very pleased to announce a continuation of the positive trends reported in
the Annual Report & Accounts, reflecting our substantial progress and
development during the period under review. Pre-tax profits of £1.032 million
represent a significant improvement on the loss of £0.160 million for the same
period of the previous year. Turnover for the period was almost double that of
the comparable period. In recognition of this performance, the Board has decided
to pay a dividend of 0.75p on 29 October 2004 to shareholders on the register at
10 September 2004. We will again be offering a scrip dividend alternative.

Market conditions improved during the period under review and our increased
client adviser base, which had been built up over the past two years, was able
to capitalise upon them. In particular, our expansion in Cardiff, at both our
stockbroking offices and our recently acquired IFA, Ingram Phillips, has borne
fruit with a very good performance. Our London office has also shown very strong
growth during the period, with an expansion of business on a number of fronts.

Our corporate finance department has been extremely active advising on 12 AIM
flotations during the period under review. We now act as Nominated Adviser or
Broker for 39 corporate clients, 32 of which have been admitted to the
Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. The corporate
finance teams in all three centres, London, Manchester and Birmingham, have
contributed to this performance which has seen corporate fees up by nearly 50%
over the corresponding period for last year.

Our Birmingham office has been considerably expanded with the addition of 15
personnel from a local competitor and the benefits from the acquisition are
already being seen.

In addition to the acquisition of Ingram Phillips, our financial services
business also benefited from additional personnel and made a substantial
contribution to profits.

The number of administration staff has increased during the period reversing
recent trends, in order to maintain our high service levels and cope with the
increased levels of business throughout the firm. We continue to upgrade and
develop our computer systems throughout the Group.

Following the announcement by the London Stock Exchange ('LSE'), we anticipate
receiving a substantial special dividend on our holding of 600,000 ordinary
shares in the LSE in the second half of the year.

Market conditions since the half year end have been less buoyant in our core
stockbroking division but we continue to make good progress on a number of
fronts. A further 5 AIM admissions have been effected since 31 May and a further
six are scheduled to complete soon. During the second half year we expect to see
continued advances in corporate finance and financial services although the
general level of market activity will, as always, influence trading in our
stockbroking business.

We continue to anticipate a controlled and balanced expansion of the Group.


Sir David Trippier RD JP DL MSI
Chairman



Consolidated profit and loss account
for the six months ended 31 May 2004

                                           Unaudited   Unaudited       Audited
                                            6 months    6 months     12 months
                                               ended       ended         ended
                                              31 May      31 May   30 November
                                                2004        2003          2003
                                               £'000       £'000         £'000
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------
Group turnover                                 8,117       4,096         9,261
Administration expenses                       (7,030)     (4,114)       (8,759)
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------
Group operating profit/(loss)                  1,087         (18)          502
Share of operating loss in associates            (36)        (81)         (131)
Share of non trading decrease in net               
assets of associates                               -           -             -
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------
                                               1,051         (99)          371
Other interest receivable and similar
income                                           139          81           151
Amounts written off investments                    -           -           (34)
Interest payable and similar charges            (158)       (142)         (300)
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------
Profit/(Loss) on ordinary activities
before taxation                                1,032        (160)          188

Tax on profit on ordinary activities            (344)          -          (132)
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------
Profit/(Loss) on ordinary activities after
taxation                                         688        (160)           56
Dividends on equity shares                      (118)        (75)         (192)
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------
Retained profit/(loss) for the period for
the Group                                        570        (235)         (136)
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------

Earnings per share (in accordance with FRS 14)
Basic                                           4.41p      (1.09p)        0.38p
Diluted                                         4.17p      (1.09p)        0.38p
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------

Earnings per share (in accordance with
guidelines issued by UK Society of
Investment Professionals)
Basic                                           4.97p      (0.74p)        1.12p
Diluted                                         4.71p      (0.74p)        1.10p
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------

Statement of total recognised gains and losses
for the six months ended 31 May 2004

                                         Unaudited     Unaudited       Audited
                                          6 months      6 months     12 months
                                             ended         ended         ended
                                            31 May        31 May   30 November
                                              2004          2003          2003
                                             £'000         £'000         £'000
------------------------------              --------      --------      --------
Profit/(loss) for the period                   570          (235)         (136)
Unrealised surplus on revaluation of
fixed asset investments                        443           175           460
Unrealised surplus on revaluation of
properties                                       -             -           505
Taxation on realised surplus on
revaluation of fixed asset investments           -             -           (91)
Non trading increase in net assets of
associates                                      43             -             -
------------------------------              --------      --------      --------
Total recognised gain/(loss) for the
period                                       1,056           (60)          738
------------------------------              --------      --------      --------


Note of historical cost profits and losses
for the six months ended 31 May 2004

                                           Unaudited   Unaudited       Audited
                                            6 months    6 months     12 months
                                               ended       ended         ended
                                              31 May      31 May   30 November
                                                2004        2003          2003
                                               £'000       £'000         £'000
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------
Reported profit/(loss) on ordinary
activities before taxation                     1,032        (160)          188
Realisation of fixed asset investment
revaluation gains                                  2           -           366
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------
Historical cost profit/(loss) on ordinary
activities before taxation                     1,034        (160)          554
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------
Historical cost profit/(loss) retained
for the period after the provision for
taxation and dividends                           572        (235)          139
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------

Consolidated balance sheet
as at 31 May 2004

                               Unaudited          Unaudited           Audited
                              31 May 2004        31 May 2003      30 November 2003
                                ---------          ---------         ------------
                            £'000    £'000     £'000    £'000      £'000     £'000
------------------         -------   ------    ------   ------   --------  --------
Fixed assets
Intangible assets                    3,141              1,801                3,229
Tangible assets                      5,237              4,835                5,206
Investments                          3,014              2,642                2,547
Investment in
associates                             415                329                  269
------------------          -------   ------    ------   ------   --------  --------
                                      11,807              9,607               11,251
Current assets
Debtors                     177,862             35,817             113,831
Investments                      22                  7                  11
Cash at bank and in
hand                          6,931              3,079               5,083
------------------          -------   ------    ------   ------   --------  --------
                            184,815             38,903             118,925
Creditors due within
one year                   (182,904)           (37,215)           (117,646)
------------------          -------   ------    ------   ------   --------  --------
Net current assets                     1,911              1,688                1,279
------------------          -------   ------    ------   ------   --------  --------
Total assets less
current liabilities                   13,718             11,295               12,530
Creditors due after
one year                              (4,996)            (4,961)              (5,267)
Provisions for
liabilities and
charges                                 (381)                 -                   (9)
------------------           -------   ------    ------   ------   --------  --------
Net assets                             8,341              6,334                7,254
------------------           -------   ------    ------   ------   --------  --------

Capital and reserves
Called up share capital                  785                752                  765
Shares to be issued                      142                283                  283
Share premium account                  1,718              1,457                1,566
Capital redemption reserve               226                226                  226
Investment revaluation reserve         3,362              2,497                2,921
Other reserves                           754                754                  754
Retained profits                       1,354                365                  739
------------------          -------   ------    ------   ------   --------  --------
Equity shareholders funds              8,341              6,334                7,254
------------------          -------   ------    ------   ------   --------  --------

Net assets per ordinary 
share                                  53.12p             42.14p               47.40p
------------------          -------   ------    ------   ------   --------  --------

Consolidated cash flow statement
for the six months ended 31 May 2004

                                           Unaudited   Unaudited       Audited
                                            6 months    6 months     12 months
                                               ended       ended         ended
                                              31 May      31 May   30 November
                                                2004        2003          2003
                                               £'000       £'000         £'000
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------
Net cash inflow from operating activities      2,660         172         2,568

Returns on investments and servicing of
finance                                          (18)        (61)         (149)
Taxation                                          42         115           115
Capital expenditure and financial
investment                                      (199)        (80)          295
Acquisitions and disposals                      (139)          -          (515)
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------
Cash inflow before management of liquid
resources and financing                        2,346         146         2,314
Equity dividends paid                           (106)        (26)          (79)
Financing                                       (392)        (46)         (157)
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------
Increase in cash in the period                 1,848          74         2,078
------------------------------                --------    --------      --------


Reconciliation of operating profit to operating cash flow

                                        Unaudited     Unaudited       Audited
                                         6 months      6 months     12 months
                                            ended         ended         ended
                                           31 May        31 May   30 November
                                             2004          2003          2003
                                            £'000         £'000         £'000
------------------------------             --------      --------      --------
Operating profit/(loss)                     1,087           (18)          502
Depreciation                                  162           172           334
Amortisation                                   89            51           109
Profit on sale of fixed assets                (19)           (1)          (26)
(Increase)/decrease in debtors            (64,073)       (7,138)      (85,067)
Increase/(decrease) in creditors           65,425         7,096        86,710
Decrease in current asset investments         (11)           10             6
------------------------------             --------      --------      --------
                                            2,660           172         2,568
------------------------------             --------      --------      --------

Analysis of net debt

                          At beginning     Cash      Other non      At the end
                         of the period     flow   cash changes   of the period
                                 £'000    £'000          £'000           £'000
----------------------      ---------- --------       --------        --------
Cash at bank and in hand         5,083    1,848              -           6,931
Debt due within one year          (277)     118           (126)           (285)
Debt due after one year         (4,519)       -            126          (4,393)
Loan Notes 2004/05                (142)     142              -               -
Finance leases                     (36)      10              -             (26)
----------------------        ---------- --------       --------        --------
                                   109    2,118              -           2,227
----------------------        ---------- --------       --------        --------

Notes

1. The interim report, which is the responsibility of the Directors and has not
   been audited, was approved by the Directors on 16 July 2004.

2. The figures for the six months ended 31 May 2004 have been prepared using the
   same accounting policies as for the year ended 30 November 2003.

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 30 November 2003 have been extracted
   from the audited accounts for that year. The comparative figures for the
   financial year ended 30 November 2003 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

                                     Shares                   Capital
                         Share        to be        Share   redemption   Revaluation     Other    Retained
                       capital       issued      premium      reserve      reserve    reserve     profits
                         £'000        £'000        £'000        £'000        £'000      £'000       £'000
------------            ------       ------      -------     --------     --------     ------      ------
At beginning of period     765          283        1,566          226        2,921        754         739
Shares issued               20         (141)         152            -            -          -           -
Investment                                                                    
revaluations                 -            -            -            -          443          -           -
Transfer of realised 
gain                         -            -            -            -           (2)         -           2
Non trading increase in
net
assets of
associate                    -            -            -            -            -          -          43
Retained
profit for
the period                   -            -            -            -            -          -         570
                        
------------            ------       ------      -------     --------     --------     ------      ------
At end of period           785          142        1,718          226        3,362        754       1,354
------------            ------       ------      -------     --------     --------     ------      ------

5. On 31 December 2003 347,650 new ordinary shares of 5p each were issued at a
price of 40.75p per share in part consideration of the second tranche of the
deferred consideration due on the acquisition of Stockholm Investments Limited.
On 6 January 2004 38,350 new ordinary shares of 5p each were issued for cash at
a price of 50p per share. On 28 May 2004 14,675 new ordinary shares of 5p each
were issued at 76.6p per share in satisfaction of the scrip dividend alternative
for the final dividend for the year ended 30 November 2003.

6. A final dividend for the year ended 30 November 2003 of 0.75p per share
costing £117,673 was paid on 28 May 2004. It is proposed that an interim
dividend for the six months ending 31 May 2004 of 0.75p per share costing
£117,783 be paid on 29 October 2004 to shareholders on the register on 10
September 2004.

7. 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 15,623,268 (six months to 31 May
2003: 14,625,082 and year ended 30 November 2003: 14,796,324). 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 887,484 (six months
to 31 May 2003: nil, and year ended 30 November 2003: 154,930). The calculation
done in accordance with the guidelines issued by the UK Society of Investment
Professionals uses the profit on ordinary activities after tax with goodwill
amortisation added back.

8. 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.
However a limited number of cases have been referred to the Financial Ombudsman
and the directors believe it is prudent to provide in full for such cases.
Accordingly a gross provision of £367,700 has been made under the heading of
Provision for Liabilities and Charges.

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 31 May 2004, 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 8. 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 31 May 2004.

KPMG Audit plc
Chartered Accountants
Leeds
16 July 2004




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