Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

Legendary Invest PLC (LEG)


Tuesday 10 July, 2001

Legendary Invest PLC

Final Results

Legendary Investments PLC
10 July 2001

                          LEGENDARY INVESTMENTS PLC



Legendary Investments plc ('Legendary') announces first annual accounts
covering the period from incorporation to 31 March 2001.


  * Implements investment strategy based on high growth where it can add
    value and generate leverage

  * Raised £3.1 million in March and £1 million in April 2000

  * Has shareholders funds after start-up costs and write-offs of £6.2
    million which includes £1.8 million cash

  * Has slashed the values of public and private investee companies in line
    with realisable market value

  * Key developments included within its portfolio are:

      + Legends Surf Shops operating profit up 64% to £890,000 and like for
        like up 16%

      + Global Money Transfer - number of agents up 50% to over 200 and
        monthly transactions rising

      + Kelvine Plates - 40% interest; developed new generation laminate for
        plate warming

      + Bioprogress - Legendary assisting with distribution arrangements in

      + TAP - prudent revaluation to reflect market sentiment

      + Bioprojects - warrants granted for deal introduction; investment

      + Lion Capital Partners - successful AIM flotation of Lombard Medical.

Commenting, Chief Executive, Shami Ahmed said 'We have successfully
established our operations in line with the Company's focused investment
strategy. There is substantial latent value in our portfolio. However, market
conditions are currently difficult and accordingly the current year poses many
challenges and opportunities for investors but just the same, I am confident
the company's approach will yield lucrative returns once our investee
companies have had time to mature and markets improve.'

For further information please contact:

Legendary Investments plc

Shami Ahmed, Chief Executive     0208 903 9037

Seymour Pierce

Sarah Wharry     020 7648 8700

Chairman's Statement


The past year has been a busy period for Legendary and we present its first
annual report and accounts covering the period from incorporation to 31 March
2001. Before reporting on the period under review, we will set out Legendary's
unique strategy, its approach and focus.

Strategic Approach and Focus

Legendary Investments plc was set up to invest in early stage growth companies
and where opportunities for high returns presented themselves. The approach
has always been to take advantage of the considerable skills and experience of
Legendary's board and management to add value to the investee company.

Although there would be a focus on a spread of investments, the heaviest focus
would be on high growth companies, particularly in retail, that have a
significant advantage over their competitors and would respond to the
Legendary treatment. Such an approach means that the management would be more
involved in the investee company as an advisor or a consultant so that the
company's performance could be leveraged and yet, at the same time, so that
the benefits to Legendary would be correspondingly higher. The retail sector
is an example where the board and management have exceptional experience and

Investment and Cash Resources

Legendary raised £3.1 million in March 2000 and a further £1 million in April
2000. Despite the fall that has taken place following the 'dot com explosion',
we have made considerable progress in line with our strategic focus. In a
year, which included the flotation, and the costs of completing the
transactions, we closed the year with shareholders' funds of £6.2 million

Your board believes that the portfolio today has considerable latent value
within it that will be released over time. The many lessons learnt in the Joe
Bloggs business are being repeated on a 'fast track' basis within some of
these investees and, as anticipated, pleasing benefits have started to come

We have taken, and continue to take, a tough line with our less successful
investee companies and during the period sold those investments where we were
no longer confident of their success. We have also revalued our investments in
The Accessory People plc and in Birchin International plc, further details of
which are provided below, to reflect the current market sentiment. In
addition, during the year, we have written down other unquoted interests to
the profit and loss account by £0.1 million. Most of these are paper losses
and not realised.

We now have a prudently valued portfolio and are encouraged to see that many
of our investments continue to make good commercial progress.

In the next section of this Report, the market position, strategies and
performance of each of our businesses is reviewed.

Retail Portfolio (Direct Investments)

We are pleased to report on another excellent year at Legends Surf Shops plc
('Legends'), a leading specialist retailer of fashionable extreme sports
branded and leisure wear. Legendary holds 10 million ordinary shares (18 per
cent) in the business and has a warrant to increase its stake to in excess of
30 per cent.

Legends has delivered another exceptionally strong performance in its latest
financial period to 31 January 2001. Operating profits have increased by 64
per cent to £890,000 as a result of new store openings, 16 per cent like for
like sles growth and controlled operating costs.

Legends has further enhanced its position as a leading extreme sports and
leisure wear retailer. The company has maintained its differentiation by
expanding its exclusive ranges and, assisted by Legendary, extending its own
brand ranges within the product offering. The introduction of own brands is an
exciting opportunity for the business and is expected to enhance margins over

The company has proved to be increasingly capable of trading successfully from
various store sizes in both high street and off-pitch out-of-town formats
which target the particularly brand conscious, fashionable consumer. During
the year, six new stores were opened, including the large 4,500 sq ft unit in
London's Oxford Street and the 17,000 sq ft Megastore in Kingston-upon-Thames,
and a number of smaller stores were relocated. This has taken the total to 20
stores and over 60,000 sq ft.

The potential of this business continues to excite us, and as always, it is
worth repeating that no short cuts will be taken in any expansion plans that
could compromise the growth of the quality profit this business is achieving.

We also continue to be pleased with the performance of our investment in Moss
Bross Group plc ('Moss Bros'), the men's clothing retailer, and particularly
the steps which its board has taken to rationalise its business. We recently
announced that we had increased our holding to 3.0 million ordinary shares,
representing just over 3 per cent of the issued share capital of Moss Bros.

A pleasing performance has also been made by Global Money Transfer plc
('GMT'), which has developed a unique patented technology to allow
computerised international money transfers for the retail market. The product
is aimed at allowing UK residents to transfer funds overseas in a paperless
manner and at a fixed exchange rate. Transfers are made via GMT's call centre
in Liverpool and network 'shop front' agencies across Britain that are linked
directly to the company's systems.

The number of agents has risen by almost 50 per cent in the past twelve months
to over 200. The number of monthly transfers also continues to build. In June
2001, GMT announced that the West Bromwich Building Society, the ninth largest
building society, was to trial the system at four of its branches following
which it plans to roll out the service across its branch network. At the same
time, GMT has widened its coverage into new territories and now also offers a
home delivery service to India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, Trinidad
and Tobago with further expansion expected in coming months.

We are enthusiastic about the prospects for GMT and look forward to playing
our part in building the company into a flourishing money transfer group.

Your board has spent considerable time evaluating other retail opportunities
where we can become involved on a direct basis. Indeed, as our profile has
risen, approaches made to us by potential target companies have increased and
we have initiated discussions with a number of potential targets. These
approaches may or may not lead to offers being made.

Products Portfolio (Direct Investments)

At the time of our flotation, we said we would invest directly in businesses
which have developed niche products.

During the second half of the year, we acquired a 40 per cent interest in
Kelvine Plates, a French company which has developed a revolutionary new
generation laminate designed to keep plates warm for up to 30 minutes once
they have been preheated in a microwave or oven. Sales of its laminate
disquettes have started and interest from the hospitality sector is strong and
we will be assisting Kelvine Plates with marketing this interesting and
potentially high margin product.

Our clear aim is to provide support to the companies in which we invest,
seeking to be part of the fabric of their commercial thinking and helping
tangibly wherever possible.

Bioprogress Technology International Inc ('Bioprogress'), which has developed
a process, the X-Gel Film System, which replaces gelatine soft capsules, is
now commercialising its technology through a licensing model. The company's
strong expertise in film technology has resulted in the development of a range
of unique products for the pharmaceutical and fast-moving consumer goods
sectors. Its world-class customers include Peter Black Healthcare, a Fortune
500 company, The Boots Company Plc and Nestle.

When we presented our interim results, we stated that we were assisting
Bioprogress in a number of ways. Legendary has made progress here, and at the
end of last year agreed a licence under which it provides Bioprogress with
representation in a number of overseas territories including the United Arab
Emirates, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, India, Pakistan,
Bangladesh and Bahrain. Legendary's exclusive access to this intellectual
property will strengthen Bioprogress' position in accessing the markets of

As consideration, Legendary has been given warrants to subscribe for 2.52
million new Bioprogress shares. Moreover, Legendary will also receive a
commission generated from any sales of either equipment or X-Gel films.

Also at the interim stage, we announced an investment in The Accessory People
('TAP'), a leading supplier of mobile phone accessories in the UK, which
designs innovative accessories for mobile phones, personal data assistants,
and palm top computers. As with most fast growing businesses, TAP has
experienced a few growing pains as it began to widen its offering. Tighter
operating disciplines have since been put in place. We remain convinced of the
enormous potential for value creation presented by branded accessories, but in
order to realistically align this investment with the negative sentiment
afflicting the whole telecommunications sector, we have adjusted our carrying
value to £543,000 and have provided for this in our profit and loss account.
Once we see a restoration of confidence in the sector, we hope we will see the
related valuation gains as rapidly as we had originally planned.

Life Science Investments (Indirect Investments)

One of our key aims over the last year has been to remain prudent in our
organisational approach and our expansion. The policy of direct investment in
our Retail Portfolio and in the Products' Portfolio reflects that gradual and
progressive approach.

We have also made investments in the life science area where we see particular
medium and long-term opportunities, although this is only being done on an
indirect basis.

For example, rather than enter an unfamiliar market ourselves, during the year
we successfully helped Acrobot, a business spun out from Imperial College,
University of London and which has developed a safety harness for knee and hip
replacement operations to secure funding from Bioprojects International plc
('Bioprojects'), a specialist investor in the biotechnology area with the
necessary skills to add value.

As consideration for introducing the deal to Bioprojects, Legendary was given
warrants which entitle it to subscribe for one million ordinary shares in

We also invested £200,000 directly in Bioprojects that has given us an
interest in a diversified portfolio of investments and an experienced
management team. Since this investment, which we have not previously announced
to the market, Bioprojects has successfully raised further funds at a
substantially higher price, it has completed a number of new investments. It
is expected to seek admission to trading on the Alternative Investment Market
of the London Stock Exchange ('AIM') within the next six months.

In addition to the investment referred to above, Legendary also has an
investment in the following two companies that provide it with indirect
exposure to life science investments:

Lion Capital Partners ('Lion') is an SFA-regulated firm whose principal
activity is to provide investment in and corporate advice to smaller
businesses in order to achieve above average capital growth. In October 2000,
Lion was a founding shareholder in Lombard Medical plc ('Lombard'); a company
operating in the medical device and cardiovascular sectors, and still retains
approximately 7 per cent of Lombard. Lion has a wide investment programme with
exciting medium and long-term opportunities.

Your board believes that Billam plc is proving to be a successful direct
investor in digital technology and software platforms as well as life sciences
through its associated company, World Life Sciences plc. We are pleased with
the continuing progress made by its management in increasing shareholders'

We look forward to reporting further progress during the coming year on these
three indirect life science investments.

Other Investments

We also have an investment in Birchin International plc ('Birchin'), an AIM
listed company, which became a cash shell to invest in financial services
technology and knowledge-based businesses, an area where the management have
particular expertise.

As announced in April 2000, Legendary undertook a share swap arrangement with
Birchin. The purpose of the transaction was two-fold. First, to increase the
deal flow to both companies - financial investments to Birchin and
non-financials to Legendary; and, second, to provide a larger pool of
investment funds in the event of a substantial transaction. Unfortunately,
Birchin's shares have suffered in the same way as Legendary's as the market
has turned down, although the relative market value of the shares today is
comparable with the relative share prices when the transaction took place. As
already noted above, we have provided in our profit and loss account for its
diminution. With substantial cash balances, Birchin is currently seeking
exciting expansion possibilities and we are confident that in due course, we
shall see a restoration of value.

Financial review

During the period, the cost of fixed asset investments acquired amounted to £
6.4 million. Of this amount, £3.1 million was invested by way of share for
share exchanges, with the balance of the investments being by way of cash. As
at the balance sheet date, these investments had a carrying value of £5.4
million. Unrealised losses on these investments were £2.3 million, which was
offset by unrealised gains of £1.3 million. As noted above, the most
significant writedowns were in respect of the investment in Birchin (£1.7
million) and The Accessory People (£0.5 million); both of these investments
were acquired by way of share for share exchanges.

In order to best utilise un-invested funds in a period of historically low
interest rates, current asset investments were also acquired in a range of
listed blue chip companies and other listed companies with investment
potential. As at the balance sheet date, short-term investments were valued at

The results for the period are given in the profit and loss account. The net
loss on investments comprises unrealised losses of £2.9 million, realised
losses of £0.3 million and unrealised gains of £1.3 million.

Administration costs amounted to only £0.4 million.

Cash and short-term investments at the year end were £1.0 million, providing
sufficient working capital for the immediate future.


In the period under review we have successfully established our operations in
line with the Company's focussed investment strategy. The current spread of
our investment is realistic and shows a good balance. We believe there is
substantial value located in our Portfolio. However, market conditions are
currently difficult and accordingly the current year poses many challenges and
opportunities for investors but just the same, we are confident the Company's
approach will yield lucrative returns once our investee companies have had
time to mature and market conditions improve.

Shami Ahmed


6 July 2001

Profit and Loss Acount for the Period Ended 31 March 2001
                                                                   14 months to

                                                                  31 March 2001

Administrative Expenses                                                   (407)
Net losses on investments                                               (1,858)

Operating Loss                                                          (2,265)
Interest Receivable                                                          93
Interest Payable                                                            (2)

Loss on ordinary activities before taxation                             (2,174)
Taxation                                                                      -

Retained loss for the financial period                                  (2,174)

Loss per share
- Basic                                                                    0.4p
- Fully diluted                                                            0.4p


A separate statement of recognised gains and losses has not been prepared as
the Company has no recognised gains or losses other than the loss for the

The figures above are prepared on the historical cost basis.

 Balance Sheet as at 31 March 2001
                                                            As at 31 March 2001

Fixed Assets
Tangible assets                                                               8
Fixed asset investments                                                   5,445

Current Assets
Debtors                                                                     561
Current asset investments                                                   743
Cash at bank and in hand                                                    257

Creditors amounts falling due within one year                             (775)

Net current assets                                                          786

Total assets less current liabilities                                     6,239

Capital and reserves
Called up share capital                                                     532
Share premium account                                                     7,881
Profit and loss account - deficit                                       (2,174)

Equity shareholders' funds                                                6,239


Cash Flow Statement for the period ended 31 March 2001
                                                                      14 months

                                                                  31 March 2001

Net cash outflow from operating activities                                (358)
Returns on investments and servicing of finance
Interest received                                                            93
Interest paid                                                               (2)

Net cash inflow from returns on investments and servicing of                 91
Capital expenditure
Payments to acquire tangible assets                                        (10)
Payments to acquire fixed asset investments                             (3,388)
Payments to acquire current asset investments                           (6,741)
Receipts from current asset investments                                   5,288

Net cash outflow from investing activities                              (4,851)

Net cash outflow before financing                                       (5,118)
Issue of ordinary share capital                                           5,375

Increase in cash                                                            257



a d v e r t i s e m e n t