St Helens Finance plc
LSE : SHF

May 21, 2010 04:20 ET

Final Results

                                                                                           21 May 2010
                                                   
                                        St Helen's Finance Plc
                                ("St Helen's Finance" or "the Company")

                                        Audited Annual Results
                        For the Twelve Months to the Year End 31 December 2009
                                   Notice of Annual General Meeting
                                 and Appointment of Executive Chairman


The Board of St Helen's Finance Plc, the PLUS quoted independent provider of asset finance facilities,
announces its audited results for the twelve months to the year end 31 December 2009.

HIGHLIGHTS

*       Rick Abbott becomes executive Chairman to reflect his commitment to the Company
*       £710,000 of new funds raised through convertible and unsecured loan notes
*       Launch of a new and innovative financing product to the legal and professional sector

MANAGING DIRECTORS COMMENTS

The  Board  are  delighted to announce that Rick Abbott has agreed to become Executive  Chairman  with
immediate effect, reflecting the fact that the changing structure and strategy of SHF is demanding the
majority  of  his  time. With his background of banking, structured finance and  capital  markets  and
having  been  Chairman  since inception of the Company, Rick truly understands  the  Company  and  the
opportunity that is emerging and is well placed to help facilitate the exciting changes in turning the
Company  into a credit asset manager, focussing on aligning alternative debt structures with  specific
asset classes.

Reflecting on the last 12 months, 2009 has been a defining year for St Helen's Finance as it has  been
for  the  whole  financial sector and particularly the leasing industry. Many of  our  competitors  no
longer  exist,  forced  out of business by the lack of funding, bad debts or  closure  by  the  owners
because their activity is no longer considered a core strategy within financial institutions.

Your  Company  has  continued to trade but on a reduced basis whilst we refocus our strategy  to  take
advantage of the unprecedented opportunities that are presenting themselves and we expect to  be  able
to provide more details over the coming months as our strategy evolves.

Our  shareholders  have  continued to support us and over the 12 months to  December  2009  we  raised
£150,000 through unsecured loan notes and £560,000 through a convertible loan note placing.

Since  the year end the Group has raised £830,000 through the issue of loan notes. We have launched  a
new  and innovative funding structure across the legal and professional sector at the tail end of  the
year  and  we have recently secured a £1m funding facility for these products from the City of  London
Group as announced on 23 March 2010

However, we have not come out of the recession unscathed and the Board has approved specific bad  debt
provisions of £968,695 to recognise the impact of this on some of our customers. In addition, we  have
maintained a general provision of £100,000 to allow for further potential bad debts as the  impact  of
the recession washes through.
Because  the  Board has acted in this very cautious manner, the allocation of this specific  provision
means  the value of the Company's net assets is less than half of its called up share capital  and  so
the Company is convening a General Meeting on Monday 21st June 2010 in accordance with Section 656  of
the Companies Act 2006, to consider whether any, and if so what steps should be taken to deal with the
situation.

It  should be noted that, this situation has arisen only as a result of the prudent decision  made  by
the  Board to provide against certain specific debts without which the Company would not have been  in
breach of the Act and a General Meeting would not have become necessary.

Our Auditors are aware of the situation and have audited our accounts taking into account our decision
to  take this very prudent approach and we have been able to satisfy them of our going concern from  a
combination of actual cash in the bank and forecast business and cashflows. They have therefore issued
an unqualified audit report with the accounts prepared on a going concern basis.

The  Board  announces  that the Company's General Meeting ("GM") will be held at  3rd  Floor,  5-7  St
Helen's Place, London EC3A 6AU on Monday 21 June 2010 as soon as the AGM is concluded.

Notice of the GM will be sent out to shareholders no later than 28 May 2010.

With the release of the audited figures to 31 Dec 2010, the Board, announces that the Company's Annual
General Meeting ("AGM") will be held at 3rd Floor, 5-7 St Helen's Place, London EC3A 6AU on Monday  21
June 2010 at 9.00 a.m.

Notice  of  the AGM will be sent out to shareholders with the Annual Accounts, no later  than  28  May
2010,  and both these documents will be available for inspection from that date during business hours,
9:00  - 17:00, at the registered office of the Company, 3rd Floor, 5-7 St. Helen's Place, London, EC3A
6AU on any weekday (public holidays excluded).

There  are  18,795,565 Ordinary Shares currently in issue. If all of the convertible  loan  notes  and
options  were  exercised, including the issued Ordinary Shares there would be a  total  of  54,551,813
Ordinary Shares in circulation.


                                                   
               The Directors of the issuer accept responsibility for this announcement.
                                                   
                                              ---ENDS---
                                                   

ENQUIRIES:

ST HELEN'S FINANCE PLC                                    Tel: 020 7628 4004
Norman Kenvyn - Managing Director norman.kenvyn@sthelensfinance.com
Rick Abbott - Executive Chairman

RIVINGTON STREET CORPORATE FINANCE                        Tel: 020 7562 3373
Leo Godsall                                               Leo@rs-cf.com

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT
FOR THE YEAR END 31 DECEMBER 2009

2009 has been a defining year for St Helen's Finance as it has been for the whole financial sector and
particularly the leasing industry. Many of our competitors no longer exist, forced out of business  by
the lack of funding, bad debts or closure by the owners because their activity is no longer considered
a core strategy within financial institutions.

Those  companies that have survived are starved of funding from their traditional sources. The  result
is  the  cost of credit and strengthened security terms, which have left a gaping opportunity for  the
stronger lenders to capitalise on.

Asset  backed  finance  or  leasing  has  historically funded approximately  30%  of  the  UK  capital
expenditure - equivalent to approximately £30 billion. Last year this lending decreased by  some  40%,
contributing to the so-called UK 'rusting economy'.

However,  unprecedented markets have led to unprecedented challenges which have created  unprecedented
opportunities.

With  this background in mind we have been working hard to develop St Helen's Finance's business model
to one more appropriate for today's opportunities.

We  have  not  come  out  of  the recession unscathed and the Board has  approved  specific  bad  debt
provisions of £968,695 to recognise the impact of this on some of our customers. In addition, we  have
maintained a general provision of £100,000 to allow for further potential bad debts as the  impact  of
the  recession  washes  through. This very cautious approach strengthens  our  company  for  the  very
exciting future.

With  credit availability still scarce and expensive we are transforming our company away from general
asset  finance  to a credit asset manager, focusing on key asset classes and sectors.  This  is  being
achieved  by  accessing alternative debt sources from funders that prefer a more  direct  exposure  to
those key asset classes and sectors, (which would continue to include the SME/industrial sectors  that
we have historically serviced), that suit their risk and maturity appetite.

Our  innovative  funding  structures have enabled us to attract and secure (contingent  on  successful
completion of fund raising currently underway), experienced and successful business managers who  will
assist  in building out our lending platform into a very significant operation. We hope to be able  to
announce more fund raising and new team appointments in due course.

We  are  establishing  St Helen's Asset Management and have applied to the FSA  for  authorisation  to
manage  third  party funds. We hope the approval will be granted shortly to enable us  to  offer  fund
management services to the growing number of investors interested in investing in our different  asset
classes.

As  part  of this new strategy we were pleased to announce in March 2010 an investment in our  company
and  our  legal case financing subsidiary by City of London Group Plc who were attracted by  both  our
innovative legal product and the aggressive approach we have taken to reposition your company for  the
future.

You  will appreciate that I have been deliberately circumspect about many of our initiatives but  rest
assured they will be announced in the normal way when they are ready.

Finally, I would like to say a big thank-you to two groups of people, firstly your Staff and Board who
have  continued  to  be committed to the business during a difficult time and who share  with  me  the
resolve  to  create  a  stronger, larger, more innovative and profitable St Helen's  Finance  to  take
advantage of these challenging, but at the same time, exciting times.
CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT
FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2009


Secondly, thanks go to our shareholders for continued support, particularly for the additional funding
provided,  and  we assure them that we are working hard to place the Company in a better  position  to
deliver the returns that they deserve.


Rick Abbott

ST HELEN'S FINANCE PLC PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT
FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2009


                                                                        2009                      2008
                                                                           £                         £
                                                                               
Turnover                                                            868,329)                1,328,636)
                                                                               
Operating Expenses                                                             
                                                                               
Interest payable and similar charges                               (356,070)                 (459,308)
Funding facility fees                                                (8,475)                     (500)
Disposal of leased assets                                             15,193                   25,790)
                                                              --------------            --------------
                                                                                                      
Gross Profit                                                         518,977                  894,618)
                                                                               
Administrative expenses                                          (1,453,727)               (1,122,963)
                                                                                                      
                                                              --------------            --------------
                                                                                                      
Loss on operating activities                                       (934,750)                 (228,345)
                                                                                                      
Other interest receivable and similar income                             133                    11,151
                                                                                                      
                                                              --------------            --------------
                                                                                                      
Loss of Ordinary activities before taxation                        (934,617)                 (217,194)
                                                                               
Tax on loss on ordinary activities                                         0                   (1,545)
                                                                                                      
                                                              --------------            --------------
Loss on ordinary activities after taxation                         (934,617)                 (218,739)
                                                              --------------            --------------
                                                                               
Loss per share (pence)                                                 (5.0)                     (1.2)


The  profit  and  loss  account  has been prepared on the basis that  all  operations  are  continuing
operations.

There are no recognised gains and losses other than those passing through the profit and loss account.

ST HELEN'S FINANCE PLC BALANCE SHEET
AS AT 31 DECEMBER 2009


                                                                          2009                       2008
                                                                             £                          £
                                                                                                         
Fixed assets                                                                                             
Tangible assets                                                        12,538)                    26,596)
Investments                                                                50)                        50)
                                                                                                         
Current assets                                                                                           
Debtors: amounts falling due within one year                        1,686,028)                 2,776,930)
Debtors: amount falling due after more than one year                1,505,737)                 3,426,586)
Cash at bank and in hand                                              569,055)                   108,722)
                                                                --------------             --------------
                                                                    3,760,820)                 6,312,238)
                                                                                                         
Creditors                                                                                                
Amounts falling due within one year                                (1,976,351)                (2,803,097)
                                                                --------------             --------------
                                                                                                         
Net current assets                                                  1,784,469)                 3,509,141)
                                                                                                         
Total assets less current liabilities                               1,797,057)                 3,535,787)
                                                                                                         
Creditors; amounts falling due after more than one year            (1,996,007)                (2,800,120)
                                                                                                         
                                                                --------------             --------------
                                                                    (198,950))                   735,667)
                                                                --------------             --------------
Capital and reserves                                                                                     
Called up share capital                                               657,845)                   657,845)
Share premium accounts                                              1,064,604)                 1,064,604)
Profit and loss accounts                                           (1,921,399)                  (986,782)
                                                                                                         
                                                                --------------             --------------
Shareholders' funds - equity interests                              (198,950))                   735,667)
                                                                --------------             --------------

The financial statements were approved by the Board on 19 May 2010

                     NJ Kenvyn                                A Irving
                     Managing Director                        Director

1.  The financial information set out in this announcement does not constitute statutory accounts
    within  the meaning of section 435 of the Companies Act 2006. This financial information has  been
    extracted from the audited full accounts.
2.  The financial statements are prepared in accordance with applicable United Kingdom Accounting
    Standards (United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice).
3.  The directors do not recommend the payment of a dividend.
4.  The  Annual  Accounts will be sent out to shareholders alongside the Annual  General  Meeting
    Notice,  no later than the 28 May 2010 and will be available for inspection from that date  during
    business hours, 9:00 - 17:00, at the registered office of the Company, 3rd Floor, 5-7 St.  Helen's
    Place, London, EC3A 6AU on any weekday (public holidays excluded).

Contact Information

  • St Helens Finance plc