Preliminary Results for the year ended 28 February 2019: Strong Strategic and Financial Progress Achieved

Braemar Shipping Services plc (LSE: BMS), a leading international provider of broking, financial, consultancy, technical and logistics services to the shipping, marine, energy, offshore and insurance industries, today announces preliminary results for the year ended 28 February 2019.

Financial Highlights

  • Good progress achieved with revenue from continuing operations increased by 14% to £117.9m (2018: £103.0m)
  • 25% increase in underlying operating profit to £9.1m (2018: £7.3m)
  • Underlying basic EPS growth of 19% to 23.32p (2018: 19.57p)
  • Final dividend of 10.0p giving an unchanged full year dividend of 15.0p, covered 1.6 times (2018 15.0p covered 1.3 times)
  • Discontinued operations showing a loss of £22.7m mainly attributable to £21.3m book loss on disposal of Technical Division business units.
  • Net debt of £7.8m up from £2.4m, including the cash in discontinued operations

Business Highlights

  • Shipbroking traded ahead of expectations and in particular had a strong second half, notably in Dry Cargo and Tankers, forward order book maintained at $43m.
  • Encouraging first full year trading of Financial Division with a broadening client base and growing pipeline of business. We believe that our expectations at the time of acquisition will be met.
  • Post year end disposal of loss-making Technical Division business units in return for a significant equity investment in a larger and stronger business.
  • Steady trading from Logistics with an increase in margins and underlying profit.
  • Newly simplified Group structure focused on core activities to deliver higher margin services to the maritime industry.
  • Significant Board changes to help drive long-term sustainable shareholder value.

SUMMARY FINANCIAL RESULTS

  Underlying Results Reported Results
  2018/19 2017/18 2018/19 2017/18
Revenue £117.9m £103.0m £117.9m £103.0m
Operating Profit / (loss) £9.1m £7.3m (£2.7)m £(1.7)m
Profit/(Loss) for the year

Basic Earnings / (loss) per Share

£7.2m

23.32p

£5.8m

19.57p

(£27.4)m

(88.63p)

(£2.9)m

(9.70p)

Full Year Dividend per Share 15.0p 15.0p 15.0p 15.0p

 

Specific Items  
  2018/19 2017/18
Acquisition and disposal related expenditure

One off costs relating to Board changes

£(11.1)m

£(0.8)m

£(9.1)m
Specific item operating loss

Gain on revaluation of investment

£(11.8)m

£0.5m

£(9.1)m
Finance costs associated with acquisitions

Total Specific items before tax

 

£(0.8)m

£(12.0)m

 

£(0.2)m

£(9.3)m

Discontinued Operations  
  2018/19 2017/18
Loss from discontinued operations £22.7m £0m
     
     

Ronald Series, Chairman of Braemar, commenting on the results and the outlook said:

“Braemar achieved good progress during 2018 but there is still much more to do and further opportunities to develop as we return the Group to growth.

It is an exciting time for Braemar, having reached a good solution for the majority of the Technical division.  The Group is now well set to focus on our Shipbroking, Financial and Logistics businesses which have good prospects.

“I look forward to working with the Board and senior team and reporting on further progress during 2019.”

Listing Rule 9.6 disclosure

Braemar also announces that Steve Kunzer, one of its non-executive Directors, is also an independent director of Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S, a ship owning company listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen.

This announcement contains inside information as defined under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014

-Ends-

For further information, contact:

Braemar Shipping Services  
James Kidwell, Chief Executive Tel +44 (0) 20 3142 4100
Nick Stone, Group Finance Director Tel +44 (0) 20 3142 4100
   
Stockdale Securities  
Robert Finlay / Antonio Bossi / Henry Willcocks Tel +44 (0) 20 7601 6100
   
Buchanan  
Charles Ryland / Victoria Hayns / Stephanie Watson / Tilly Abraham Tel +44 (0) 20 7466 5000

 

 

Alternative Profit Measures (“APMs”)

Braemar uses APMs as key financial indicators to assess the underlying performance of the Group.  Management considers the APMs used by the Group to better reflect business performance and provide useful information to investors and other interested parties.  Our APMs include underlying operating profit and underlying earnings per share. Explanations of these terms and their calculation are shown in the summary above and in detail in our Financial Review.

About Braemar Shipping Services plc

Braemar Shipping Services plc is a leading international provider of knowledge and skill-based services to the shipping, marine, energy, offshore and insurance industries. Founded in 1972, Braemar employs approximately 750 people in more than 60 locations (although this will fall by around 250 people and 30 locations following the disposal of the Technical business units) worldwide across its Shipbroking, Financial, Logistics and Technical divisions.

Braemar joined the Official List of the London Stock Exchange in November 1997 and trades under the symbol BMS.

PRELIMINARY ANNOUNCEMENT – YEAR ENDED 28 FEBRUARY 2019

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

Braemar’s underlying performance from continuing operations in 2018/19 achieved a noticeable improvement over the previous year.  2018/19 was the first full year of trading for Braemar-NAVES and Braemar Atlantic which were both acquired in the previous year. Through these acquisitions, we have established a new presence in the maritime financial advisory market and in dry freight and commodity derivatives markets both of which are complementary to shipbroking and widen Braemar’s offering to its customers.

On 13 May 2019 we announced the disposal of the loss-making Offshore, Marine and Adjusting businesses of our Technical division to Aqualis ASA, a Norwegian listed group, operating in offshore and renewables consulting in exchange for a 26% stake of the enlarged Group’s equity. In addition, we will receive performance based warrants which offer the potential to increase our stake to 33% in two years’ time. This transaction, which is in line with our strategy to focus on the Group’s core, profitable operations, is expected to complete in mid-June 2019, at which point Braemar will become the largest shareholder in Aqualis. The Board strongly believes that this is an excellent result for both Braemar and Aqualis and the best solution for the Technical division.

Aqualis operates primarily in the Offshore and Renewables sectors and has a particular strength in the Middle East. The combination of our businesses with Aqualis provides an excellent fit with little geographic or client overlap. The enlarged group will be a market leader with global coverage of marine, adjusting, offshore and renewables services. We are also delighted that the group will trade as AqualisBraemar which maintains our name in technical services and enables us to continue to cross sell and package these services. The Aqualis management team has a strong track record of managing and growing businesses in these sectors through the cycle.

The business units sold made an operating loss of £1.7 million in the year. The estimated valuation of the consideration received by way of shares and warrants is £6.4 million and the total loss recorded on the disposal after fees is £21.3 million.

The Group has decided to retain its Engineering business because its services to the LNG industry have a close connection to and joint business with the Shipbroking division.

RESULTS FOR THE YEAR

Revenue from continuing operations for the year was 14.4% higher at £117.9 million compared with £103.0 million in 2017/18. Underlying operating profit from continuing operations was considerably higher at £9.1 million compared with £7.3 million in 2017/18 and underlying earnings per share were 23.32 pence compared with 19.57 pence last year. All these figures are reported excluding the Technical Division business units that form part of the Aqualis transaction which is treated as a discontinued operation for this purpose.

The Shipbroking division performed well, particularly in the second half of the year with an increased contribution from dry cargo chartering, some important sale and purchase business and the full year’s contribution from Braemar Atlantic.  We also invested in the dry cargo and chemicals sector teams to improve the mix of our broking capability. The forward order book remains strong at over $40 million with a higher proportion due to be delivered in the next twelve months than last year.

Our Financial division, which was created following the acquisition of NAVES Corporate Finance GmbH in September 2017 reports its first full year of profits. This new division had an extremely active year and built an extensive and growing pipeline of mandated business and retainer income from both financial and shipping clients. Based on the pipeline of business combined with the ability to link up with other divisions, we believe that our expectations at the time of the acquisition will be met.

Logistics traded steadily and reported a small increase in underlying profit compared with the prior year.

There was a reported loss for the year from continuing operations of £4.7 million (2018: £2.9 million) after taking into account other specific items, mainly due to acquisition and disposal related expenditure.

DIVIDEND

The Directors are recommending, for approval at the Annual General Meeting on 3 July 2019, a final dividend of 10.0 pence per share.

This dividend will be paid on 26 July 2019 to those on the register at close of business on 21 June 2019. Together with the 5.0 pence interim dividend, the Company’s dividend for the year will be 15.0 pence (2018: 15.0 pence).  The last date for Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) elections will be Friday 5 July 2019.  As part of the process of reshaping the Group and focusing on higher margin business development, we are keeping the dividend policy under review.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

I am delighted to have taken over as Chairman on 15 April 2019, and I look forward to working with the Board and the executive team to drive long term sustainable value for the Group over the upcoming years, to the benefit of all of our stakeholders.

The Board would like to thank David Moorhouse for his contribution as Chairman over the past three years, and as a Non-executive director for 10 years prior to that. Louise Evans served as Finance Director until 22 June 2018 and Nick Stone joined as Group Finance Director on 1 April 2019. Steve Kunzer joined the Board as a Non-executive director on 26 February 2019, replacing Mark Tracey who stepped down from the Board in September 2018.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Louise and Mark for their contribution during their time with Braemar, and to welcome Nick and Steve to the Braemar Board.

COLLEAGUES

On behalf of the Board I would like to thank all of Braemar’s staff for their hard work and dedication over the last year. Their knowledge, skills and commitment will be key ingredients of the future success of the Group.

OUTLOOK

Shipbroking is set to have an interesting year of opportunities as the shipping industry prepares for the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) low sulphur fuel regulations which become effective internationally on 1 January 2020. The implementation of these regulations will have multiple effects but overall is expected to have a positive effect on freight markets, especially for tankers.  In addition, our investment in new talent, particularly in the dry cargo sector, is contributing well and adding to the breadth of our Shipbroking business.

Our Finance division is working on multiple mandates with potential for significant success fees. They have also established a track record of providing corporate finance advice to the purchasers of shipping loan portfolios. This is an excellent position from which to offer on-going strategic and restructuring advice.

Logistics and Engineering both have significant commercial prospects for growth over the coming year.

We are positive about the AqualisBraemar combination and very much look forward to the development of this business and the growth of our investment therein. The reshaping of the Group will enable Braemar to focus on growing our higher margin services, which will in turn improve our return on capital for Shareholders.

Ronald Series
Chairman
19 May 2019


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