B.P. Marsh &Partners - Trading Update
- Placing and Open Offer completed in July, raising £17m cash for the Company (before costs)
- PSC Insurance Group became a new 19.6% investor
- New investment in ATC Insurance Solutions of Melbourne
- Additional investment of £2.5m in Nexus
- LEBC announced strong results for the year to 30 September 2018
- Third acquisition by XPT and provision of additional funding
- Dividend of 4.76p for the year to 31 January 2019, payable in July 2019
- £7.9m cash balance at 31 January 2019, of which £6.6m uncommitted pre-dividend
The Group was pleased to complete a successful Placing and Open Offer in July, bringing a significant new shareholder to the Company's register in PSC Insurance Group, an Australian listed insurance group.
A new investment was made in ATC Insurance Solutions, an Australian-based business, bringing the total number of the Group's Australian investments to three, all of which are performing strongly.
Overall, we are pleased with the progress of the portfolio. Whilst there are a couple of investments that we are monitoring closely, the majority continue to increase revenue and profits and have developed well.
As global and domestic political events unfold, we wait for resolution on this whilst continuing to deliver a sustainable dividend and steady growth.
As previously announced, the dividend for the financial year ending 31 January 2019 will be 4.76p per share (£1.7m in aggregate), payable in July 2019.
The Board continues to strike a balance between investing cash into new opportunities for long-term capital growth and providing shareholders with a meaningful and sustainable yield.
Net Asset Value and Full Year Results
The latest published net asset value ("NAV") is £120.1m, or 333p per share, as at 31 July 2018. The NAV per share is calculated based upon the total shares in issue of 37,478,077, and then excluding 1,461,302 shares held in a management incentive scheme as these shares are subject to performance criteria which have not yet been met and are non-dilutive at this time.
The full year results to 31 January 2019 and the updated net asset value will be announced on Tuesday 11 June 2019.
New Business Opportunities and Outlook
The financial year closed with a total of 64 new opportunities having been presented to the Group during the year, in comparison with 77 and 84 in preceding years. Of the 64, the majority were in the insurance sector, with 37 insurance intermediary enquiries, or 58%.
The Group notes the reduction in the number of new enquiries received and attributes this to uncertainties in recent months surrounding Brexit and other geo-political pressures. The Board does not view this as a lasting cause for concern, however, and anticipates deal volumes to pick up once there is more clarity on the domestic political situation.
One new investment was made during the year, in Australia, bringing the total number of Group investee companies in Australia to three. The Group continues to view Australia as a territory that presents good growth investment opportunities, which combined with the presence of PSC Insurance Group as a recent cornerstone investor, contributes to a sustained interest in this geographic area.
At 31 January 2019 the Group's cash balance was £7.9m, with £6.6m uncommitted pre-dividend.