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W.H. Ireland Group (WHI)

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Wednesday 28 February, 2007

W.H. Ireland Group

Preliminary Results

W.H. Ireland Group PLC
28 February 2007

                              W.H. IRELAND GROUP plc
                         ('W.H. Ireland' or 'the Group')

                              PRELIMINARY RESULTS

                        FOR THE YEAR TO 30 NOVEMBER 2006

The principal activity of W.H. Ireland is the provision of stockbroking,
corporate finance, investment management and financial services to both private
and institutional clients. It has a national network of offices including
Manchester, London, Birmingham and Cardiff.

                                  Key Points

  * Pre-tax profit increased by 16% to a record £3.7m (2005: £3.2m)

  * Turnover up by 32% to £30.3m (2005: £23.0m)

  * Excluding acquisitions, operating profit up by 12% to £2.7m and turnover
    up by 29% to £29.6m

  * Equity shareholders funds increased by 13% to £14.9m (2005: £13.2m)relating 
    to 92p per share (2005: 82p), and excluding intangibles an increase of
    15% to £11.4m (2005: £9.9m) relating to 70p per share (2005: 62p)

  * Proposed final dividend of 3.0p per share giving a total of 4.4375p for
    the year (2005: 3.75p) an increase of 18%

  * Strong progress across three core business areas:

        - Corporate finance - turnover up 17%
        - IFA business - turnover up by 23%
        - Stockbroking - commission up by 42%

  * A consolidation of our presence in Australia by increasing our holding in
    WHI Australia Pty Limited by a further 8.94% to 59.94%.

  * Establishment of the Leeds office through the acquisition of TD
    Waterhouse's Institutional team based in Leeds, together with the addition
    of a retail stockbroking team and a Corporate finance team.

Laurie Beevers, chief executive, commenting, said,

' I am delighted to be able to report once again on record results. With the
benefit of our strong balance sheet, we are driving the business forward both
organically and through strategic acquisitions. As we continue to invest in
developing both our core stockbroking activities as well as our complementary
corporate finance and financial services businesses, I remain confident that our
strategy will result in continued progress'.

Press enquiries:

W.H. Ireland Group plc
Laurie Beevers, chief executive      Tel: 0161 832 6644 Mobile: 07903 164004
David Youngman, managing director    Tel: 0161 832 6644 Mobile: 07900 887142
Richard Lee, director                Tel: 0161 832 6644 Mobile: 07831 170298

Biddicks                             Tel: 020 7448 1000
Zoe Biddick or Katie Tzouliadis

Chairman's Statement

Results and Dividend

I am delighted to report increased turnover, profits, assets and funds under
management & advice for the fourth year in succession. Our pre-tax profit has
increased by 16% to £3.7m, while turnover, which now includes a full year for
our Australian subsidiary, has grown by over 32% to £30.3m.

These results have been achieved in a period where stock market turnover has
fluctuated significantly and during which we have been investing significantly
in people and systems to facilitate the future growth objectives of the company.

During the year we have completed the sale of the majority of our shares in the
London Stock Exchange, which has contributed £1.1m out of the total profit from
sales of fixed asset investments of £1.3m compared with profits of £0.7m last
year. We have also consolidated operating profits of £0.2m from associated
companies, principally from our holding in Ultimate Finance.

We are proposing a final dividend of 3p making an increased dividend of 18% for
the year as a whole, comprising an interim of 1.4375p (2005: 1.25p) and a final
of 3p (2005: 2.5p). This dividend is covered 3.3 times. The final dividend will
be paid on 27 April 2007 to holders on the register on 9 March 2007. A scrip
alternative is available to shareholders who wish to take up that option.


Our accounts now include a significant contribution from our subsidiary in
Australia, WHI Australia, the holding company of DJ Carmichael, the Perth based
stockbroker, where we have increased our holding to 59.9%. We are delighted with
its performance since we made our initial investment in June 2005. We would like
to congratulate everyone in Perth for their hard work and commitment. DJ
Carmichael now has representation in Melbourne, and it is our intention to
support its continued expansion.

WH Ireland Financial Services has continued to grow its business and headcount
in Manchester and Cardiff and has contributed £1.9m (2005: £1.6m) to this year's
turnover, an excellent performance. We are continuing to look at potential
acquisitions for this subsidiary.

Our Corporate Finance division has again performed strongly and has a
significant presence in the AIM market nationally and internationally. In the
year it undertook 17 IPOs, 14 secondary placings and acted in two advisory
transactions, raising in total in excess of £136m (2005: £82m). In addition to
our Birmingham, London and Manchester offices we have recently opened in Leeds
to further support this growth.

On the stockbroking side we continue to recruit highly experienced personnel to
our London office which is now developing well following the move to new
premises last year. Our acquisition of the institutional business of T.D.
Waterhouse in Leeds early last year has seen the addition of new personnel and
is locating to new offices in the centre of Leeds in Granary Wharf. It will be
joined there by our newly established Corporate Finance operation and our
private client stockbroking team.

Group funds under management & advice now amount to £1.35bn, up from £1.17bn
last year.


We have in the past made reference to the fixed asset and equity investment that
we have undertaken in order to both de-risk the business while at the same time
balancing the profit streams.

Our Manchester property, which is in our books at £4.9m, is undergoing a major
refurbishment. The ground floor, comprising three shop units, will be available
for let, as will the first floor by the end of March. On completion of the work
the building will be revalued. The uplift in value is expected to show an
increase in excess of £1.0m over the refurbishment cost.

Ultimate Finance, where we have a 23.17% holding, which is itself quoted on AIM
continues to grow and we continue to be very pleased with its development.

In 2005 we made an investment in Acceleris, a venture capital boutique
specialising in mainly high tech start ups. This is developing well and we have
invested a further £140k after the year end to maintain our equity position.


During the year we have added two non executive directors to the main board.
John Padovan is well known in the city having been managing director of three
merchant banks and a non-executive director of a number of listed companies
including Tesco and Whitbread.

Roger Lane-Smith is a lawyer who until recently was Chairman and Senior Partner
of DLA Piper UK. He is Chairman of JJB Sports and a Director of a number of
other companies.

The additional wise counsel and vast experience of these two senior figures is
genuinely appreciated.


World equity markets remain in good form but volumes, particularly in the UK
market from where we derive the majority of our income, are below last year's

Our spread of activities and the commitment of a loyal, able and expanding staff
should ensure continued progress in the development of the Group.

Sir David Trippier RD JP DL MSI

                                               Year ended             Year ended
                                              30 November            30 November
                                                     2006                   2005
                              Note                      £                      £

Group turnover
Continuing operations                          29,645,609             23,007,247
Acquisitions                                      695,787                      -
                                               30,341,396             23,007,247

Administrative expenses                      (28,211,746)           (20,562,231)
Group operating profit
Continuing operations              2,733,316              2,445,016
Acquisitions                       (603,666)                      -                
                                                2,129,650              2,445,016
Share of operating profit                         210,503                 67,675
before tax in associates
Total operating profit: group                   2,340,153              2,512,691
and share of associates                                                         

Profit on disposal of fixed      2              1,268,272                653,993
asset investments
Income from fixed asset          3                 31,775                 47,109
                                                3,640,200              3,213,793
Other interest receivable and                     516,461                494,059
similar income
Amounts written off                              (25,544)               (34,224)
Interest payable and similar                    (410,286)              (473,579)
Profit on ordinary activities                   3,720,831              3,200,049
before taxation
Tax on profit on ordinary                     (1,228,034)            (1,043,694)
Profit on ordinary activities                   2,492,797              2,156,355
after taxation
Minority interests                              (120,620)               (20,806)
Profit for the financial year                   2,372,177              2,135,549

Earnings per share
(in accordance with FRS 14)
Basic                            5                 14.71p                 13.48p
Diluted                          5                 13.30p                 12.13p

All turnover and results in the current and previous year relate to continuing

                                                              Year      Year
                                                             ended     ended
                                                                30        30
                                                          November  November
                                                              2006      2005
                                                                 £         £
Profit for the financial year                            2,372,177 2,135,549
Unrealised surplus on revaluation of fixed                 548,886 1,083,223
asset investments
Unrealised gain on revaluation of properties                     -    76,805
Taxation on current year's realised surplus on           (625,535) (426,734)
revaluation of fixed assets
Currency translation differences                          (90,155)    23,724
Total recognised gain for the year                       2,205,373 2,892,567

Note of historical cost profits and losses
for the period ended 30 November 2006
                                                              Year      Year
                                                             ended     ended
                                                                30        30
                                                          November  November
                                                              2006      2005
                                                                 £         £
Reported profit on ordinary activities before            3,720,831 3,200,049
Realisation of fixed asset investment                    2,084,321 1,422,445
revaluation gains                                                           
Historical cost profit on ordinary activities            5,805,152 4,622,494
before taxation                                                             
Historical cost profit retained for the year             3,830,963 3,131,260
after the provisions for taxation and minority

                                                                Restated    Restated
                                           2006        2006         2005        2005
                          Note                £           £            £           £
Fixed assets
Intangible assets                                 3,509,706                3,319,466
Negative goodwill                                  (33,063)                        -
Tangible assets                                   6,105,899                5,685,833
- Fixed asset investments    6        4,767,838                6,181,536
- Investment in                         837,191                  765,942
                                   ------------             ------------
                                                  5,605,029                6,947,478
                                                 15,187,571               15,952,777
Current assets
Debtors                              76,387,142               69,730,570
Investments                              11,268                   14,702
Cash at bank and in hand             14,819,199                7,362,131            
                                     91,217,609               77,107,403
Creditors: amounts           7     (85,337,320)             (72,373,849)
falling due within
one year                                                                            
Net current assets                                5,880,289                4,733,554
Total assets less current                        21,067,860               20,686,331
Creditors: amounts           8                  (5,194,992)              (6,177,135)
falling due after more
than one year
Provisions for                                     (16,980)                (115,608)
liabilities and charges                                                                 
Net assets                                       15,855,888               14,393,588

Capital and reserves
Called up share capital                             812,017                  800,820
Share premium account                             1,785,965                1,604,644
Capital redemption                                  228,083                  226,333
Merger reserve                                      490,511                  490,511
Other reserves                                      753,704                  753,704
Revaluation reserve                               2,844,042                4,378,655
Profit and loss account                           8,038,173                4,931,680
Treasury shares                                    (86,561)                        -
Equity shareholders'                             14,865,934               13,186,347
Minority Interests (all                             989,954                1,207,241
Total capital employed                           15,855,888               14,393,588

                                                       Year ended  Year ended
                                                      30 November 30 November
                                                             2006        2005
                                                                £           £
Net cash inflow/(outflow) from operating                7,263,974 (3,465,512)
Returns on investments and servicing of                   261,868     169,915
Taxation                                                (857,762) (1,583,066)
Capital expenditure and financial investment            2,762,903   1,977,037
Acquisitions and disposals                              (616,836)     327,710
Equity dividends paid                                   (479,465)   (691,679)
Cash inflow/(outflow) before financing                  8,334,682 (3,265,595)
Financing                                               (870,031)   (276,400)
Increase/(decrease) in cash in the year                 7,464,651 (3,541,995)

                                                             Group      Group
                                                              2006       2005
                                                                 £          £
Profit for the financial year before dividends           2,372,177  2,135,549
Dividend - restatement adjustment                        (400,410)  (550,312)
Dividend - current year                                  (233,084)  (199,892)
Restated profit for the financial year                   1,738,683  1,385,345
Surplus on investment revaluation reserve                  548,886  1,083,223
Surplus on property revaluation reserve                          -     76,805
Tax in respect of current year realised surplus on       (625,535)  (426,734)
Shares issued on payment of scrip dividends in the year    153,866     58,525
Shares issued on acquisition of subsidiary undertaking           -    321,091
Shares issued on exercise of options                        85,652          -
Shares bought back for cancellation                       (45,250)          -
Treasury shares acquired                                  (86,561)          -
Exchange rate adjustments                                 (90,154)     23,724
Increase in shareholders' funds during the year          1,679,587  2,521,979
Opening equity shareholders' funds                      13,186,347 10,664,368
Closing equity shareholders' funds                      14,865,934 13,186,347

1. Accounting policies

The following accounting policies have been applied consistently in dealing with
items that are considered material in relation to the Group's financial

Basis of preparation

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with applicable
accounting standards subject to the true and fair view overrides detailed below
and under the historical cost accounting rules, except as modified by the
revaluation of certain assets.

During the year the group adopted FRS21 and FRS25 paragraphs 1 to 50.

The figures for the year ended 30 November 2005 have been restated to comply
with FRS21 and FRS25 paragraphs 1 to 50 as if these policies had been adopted
throughout the year.

Basis of accounting for the Carried Interest Scheme

During the year the Group maintained a Carried Interest Bonus Scheme under which
bonuses may be payable to certain corporate finance personnel when certain
warrants or shares acquired as part of a corporate finance transaction are
ultimately sold at a profit. The relevant warrants and shares are included
within fixed asset investments and are revalued at the year end reporting date
and a bonus is provided on 50% of the expected profit should the warrants or
shares be sold at that revalued amount, being the maximum amount of bonus that
may be paid out. The amount of the bonus provision relating to warrants where
the expiry date is less than one year is shown in creditors under one year, and
the balance is shown in creditors over one year.

At the 30 November 2006 revaluation the relevant warrants had a revaluation loss
of £193,047 and the shares a revaluation loss of £234,663 and accordingly
£94,723 need to be written back on the warrant revaluation loss and £121,645 on
the revaluation losses on shares. Under the specific requirements of the
Companies Acts and relevant Financial Reporting Standards the full amount of the
revaluation loss would be taken through the statement of total recognised gains
and losses to the revaluation reserve in the balance sheet whilst the credit for
the bonuses would be taken to the profit and loss account. The Directors do not
consider that adopting this accounting treatment truly matches the bonus credit
against the relevant loss and thus does not show a true and fair view of the
reasoning and substance behind the relevant accounting entries. In order to show
a true and fair view of the Carried Interest Bonus Scheme the Directors have
departed from the prescribed accounting treatment and have debited a sufficient
amount of the loss to the profit and loss account to match the relevant bonus
write back, as a debit within administrative expenses where the related bonus is
credited. The effect of this is to avoid an increase in profits of £216,368
should the bonus alone be reported in the profit and loss account.

During the current year certain warrants within the Carried Interest Scheme were
exercised and the shares acquired there from were sold resulting in a profit
being credited to profit and loss of £306,309 and a bonus being charged of
£165,154. Under the specific requirements of the Companies Acts and relevant
Financial Reporting Standards the profit on sale of the shares should be
disclosed below the operating profit line under the heading profit on disposal
of fixed assets and the bonus should be included in staff costs above the
operating profit line. The Directors do not believe that this accounting
treatment properly reflects the matching of the bonus and the specific gain it
is paid out from, nor with the presentation of equivalent revaluations within
operating profit (see paragraph above). Accordingly the Directors have departed
from these accounting requirements and have taken a sufficient amount of the
gain as matches the bonus paid and have reported this above the operating profit
line as a credit to administration expenses. This treatment has no effect on the
reported profits before tax for the year, but it moves a realised gain of
£165,154 from below to above the operating profit line.

2. Profit on disposal of investments
                                                             Year Year ended
                                                               30         30
                                                         November   November
                                                             2006       2005
                                                                £          £
Gross Profit on disposal of fixed asset investments     1,443,950    817,466
Loss on disposal of current asset investments            (10,524)          -
Amount taken to administration expenses to offset       (165,154)  (163,473)
against the bonus payment thereon (see note 1)                              
Net profit on disposal of fixed asset investments       1,268,272    653,993

3. Income from fixed asset investments
                                                       Year ended Year ended
                                                               30         30
                                                         November   November
                                                             2006       2005
                                                                £          £
Quoted investments                                         31,775     31,839
Unquoted investments                                            -     15,270
                                                           31,775     47,109
4. Dividends
                                                       Year ended Year ended
                                                               30         30
                                                         November   November
                                                             2006       2005
                                                                £          £
Equity shares:
Final dividend for the year ended 30 November 2005        400,410    235,848
paid at 2.5p per share (2004: 1.50p)
Special final dividend for year ended 30 November 2005          -    314,464
(2004: 2.0p)
Interim dividend for the year ended 30 November 2006      233,084    199,892
paid at 1.4375p per share (2005: 1.25p)                                     
                                                          633,494    750,204

Following the adoption of FRS21, dividends payable are accounted for in the
period in which the Company is liable to pay them, rather than in the period in
respect of which they are declared. This has resulted in a reduction of
creditors due within one year and increase in retained profits for the year
ended 30 November 2005 of £400,410.

Following the adoption of the presentation requirements of FRS25, these
dividends are now treated as a charge on reserves and accounted for through the
reconciliation of movements in shareholders' funds rather than in the profit and
loss account as previously.

5. Earnings per share
                                                        Year ended Year ended
                                                                30         30
                                                          November   November
                                                              2006       2005

Profit for the year used for the basic calculation      £2,372,177 £2,135,549
Weighted average number of shares used in the basic     16,124,635 15,840,949
Weighted average number of options outstanding for the   1,715,122  1,764,713
Weighted average number of shares used in the diluted   17,839,758 17,605,662

6. Fixed asset investments
                                     Unquoted                Quoted
                                  investments  Warrants investments       Total
Group (excluding investments in             £         £           £           £
Cost or valuation
At beginning of year                   75,071 2,911,107   3,195,358   6,181,536
Additions                             275,000         -     477,656     752,656
Revaluation adjustment                      - (193,047)     525,705     332,658
Exchange rate adjustments                   -         -     (5,313)     (5,313)
Diminution in value                         -         -    (25,544)    (25,544)
Disposals                                   - (704,687) (1,763,468) (2,468,155)
At end of year                        350,071 2,013,373   2,404,394   4,767,838

The historical cost value of the above quoted investments at the year end was
£1,374,684 (2005: £748,140).

The potential tax charge arising if the above quoted investments were sold at
their market value is £330,118 (2005: £714,735).

In the consolidated financial statements, the interests in the associated
undertakings are accounted for using the equity method. In the Company financial
statements the interests in the associated undertakings are accounted for at
market value where quoted and at the lower of cost or net realisable value where

7. Creditors: amounts falling due within one year
                                                             Group      Group
                                                              2006       2005
                                                                 £          £
Bank overdraft                                              46,199          -
Bank loans                                                 314,727    292,365
Trade creditors                                         77,919,174 67,159,024
UK corporation tax payable                               1,827,763    839,136
Taxation and social security                               872,166    609,358
Obligation under finance leases and hire purchase            3,887      6,982
Deferred purchase consideration                                  -    461,560
Other creditors                                            311,715    177,931
Accruals and deferred income                             4,041,689  2,827,493
                                                        85,337,320 72,373,849

Accruals and deferred income includes £108,579 (Company: £nil) (2005: £nil
(Company: £nil)) relating to bonuses provided under the carried interest scheme.
Details of the accounting treatment thereof are given in note 1.

8. Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one year
                                                            Group      Group
                                                             2006       2005
                                                                £          £
Bank loans                                              3,594,718  3,971,899
Obligations under finance leases and hire purchase              -      4,398
Accruals and deferred income                            1,575,834  2,097,059
Deferred rent creditor                                     24,440    103,779
                                                        5,194,992  6,177,135

Accruals and deferred income includes £1,259,746 (Company: £215,192) (2005:
£1,799,891 (Company: £336,836)) relating to bonuses provided under the carried
interest scheme. Details of the accounting treatment thereof are given in note

9. Financial Information

The financial information in this press release, which has not been audited,
does not constitute Statutory Accounts within the meaning of Section 240 of the
Companies Act 1985.

The Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 30 November 2006 will be
delivered to the Registrar of Companies following the Company's Annual General
Meeting. Accounts for the year ended 30 November 2005 have been filed with the
Registrar of Companies, and these accounts contain an unqualified, audited
report and did not contain any statements under Section 237 (2) or (3) of the
Companies Act 1985.

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

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