St Helens Finance plc
LSE : SHF

July 14, 2008 04:00 ET

Interim Results

                                                                                          14 July 2008
                                                   
                                                   
                                        ST HELEN'S FINANCE PLC
                                ("St Helen's Finance" or "the Company")
                                                   
                                            INTERIM RESULTS
                      Maiden profit for the 6 months and strong underlying growth

The  Board  of  St  Helen's  Finance, the PLUS Quoted, independent provider of  asset  backed  finance
facilities  to smaller and medium-sized enterprises ("SMEs"), announces its unaudited Interim  Results
for  the  six months to 30 June 2008, which reports on portfolio growth and significant like for  like
increased operating income, turnover and shareholders' funds.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  *       Portfolio has achieved critical mass and is now generating profits
  
  *       Month-on-month profitable trading throughout the first 6 months of 2008
  
  *       Trading profits of £55k (after provisions) for the period
  
  *       New brokerage department established in June and generating income
  
  *       Credit policies have been tightened to reflect current economic uncertainties
  
  *       Winner of the 2008 Plus Company of the Year Award from Growth Company Investor

FINANCIAL

           Financial Comparisons                    6 months to          6 months to         % change
      (corresponding 6 month period)                    June 07              June 08
                                                                                              
Turnover (including interest income)                   £304,432             £668,813           + 120%
Trading profit* - before provisions                      £3,625             £137,959         + 3,700%
Trading profit* - after provisions                    (£44,009)              £54,883                 
New equipment financed                               £1,775,360           £3,425,357            + 93%
Portfolio of finance receivables, gross              £4,543,168           £9,189,311           + 102%
Portfolio of finance receivables, net                £3,631,028           £7,392,977           + 103%
Unearned income not yet collected                      £857,401           £1,821,373           + 112%
Number of live deals                                        180                  445           + 147%
* tax has been ignored for the purpose of these comparisons

Commenting on the results, Chairman Rick Abbott, said:

"The  six-month  period to 30 June 2008 has continued to deliver strong growth which has  enabled  the
Company  to  produce its first profit, after provisions and before tax, since bringing the Company  to
market.

Our  results, in line with management expectations, clearly support the accuracy of previous  comments
made  in  the  Managing  Director's report for the corresponding period last  year  insomuch  we  have
negotiated the appropriate funding lines, we have doubled the size of the portfolio and we are trading
profitably month on month.  We are pleased that the full effect of the operational gearing is  clearly
being demonstrated by bottom line growth".


                                               - ENDS -


                The Directors of the Issuer accept responsibility for this announcement


Enquiries:

ST HELEN'S FINANCE PLC                                                   Tel: 020 7628 4004
Norman Kenvyn, Managing Director
Rick Abbott, Chairman

FISHER CORPORATE PLC                                                     Tel: 020 7388 7000
Gary Miller

BISHOPSGATE COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED                                       Tel: 020 7562 3350
Neil Boom
Gemma O'Hara


CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

The  six-month  period to 30 June 2008 has continued to deliver strong growth which  has  enabled  the
Company  to  produce its first profit, after provisions and before tax, since bringing the Company  to
market.

Our  results, in line with management expectations, clearly support the accuracy of previous  comments
made  in  the  Managing  Director's report for the corresponding period last  year  insomuch  we  have
negotiated the appropriate funding lines, we have doubled the size of the portfolio and we are trading
profitably month on month.  We are pleased that the full effect of the operational gearing is  clearly
being demonstrated by bottom line growth.

Despite our borrowing costs increasing, by passing these increases on to our customers we have managed
to maintain margins.  Our borrowings are always fixed and matched to our portfolio so we maintain both
a constant return and positive cash flow, despite any further external movement in money costs.


FUNDING LINES

As  previously stated we have deliberately sought to spread our borrowings across a number of  funders
and  not  one single institution, allowing us greater flexibility and options.  At the end of June  we
still  have  capacity  within  our  existing lines although, now  our  interim  statements  have  been
published,  we will be actively seeking to increase these facilities and expand the number of  funders
to enable the Company to take advantage of further opportunities as they emerge.


ARREARS' MANAGEMENT

The  current economic climate is one of change and while this can present real opportunities,  we  are
mindful that the "credit crunch" can also affect the ability of our customers to pay their rentals.

We  believe  that  our experienced team is able to take all appropriate measures to  ensure  that  the
Company is well placed to trade through these turbulent times.  We have reduced the average deal  size
across  the  portfolio and capped our exposure to certain sectors where there appear  to  be  external
pressures due to reduction in consumer spending, i.e., the retail sector.

Naturally,  bad  debts  will  be  encountered and we continue to maintain  a  general  provision,  the
sufficiency of which will be kept under constant review based on information available at the time.

FUTURE PROSPECTS

We continue to remain focussed on our core business - the development of our portfolio of receivables.

The  Company's  gross receivables are £9.2m which includes £1.8m of unearned income thereby  giving  a
clear  indication  of  future revenue which, assuming similar growth and business  parameters,  should
generate  positive  cash  flow  and  profits.   This business  will  be  supplemented  by  fee  income
opportunities including, for example, the new brokerage department.

The current climate will prove difficult for all lenders as uncertainty remains over liquidity and the
underlying  credit quality of our customers and their ability to repay.  This will inevitably  produce
real  opportunities, including consolidation and acquisitions, and the Board will continue to  explore
these  with  a  view  to creating long term shareholder value.  We look forward  to  the  future,  and
reporting our full year results, with confidence.


RICK ABBOTT
CHAIRMAN
Date - 11 July 2008

INTERIM RESULTS

Profit & loss for the six months to 30 June 2008

                                                      Unaudited          Unaudited           Audited
                                                    6 months to        6 months to       12 months to
                                                   30 June 2008       30 June 2007        31 Dec 2007
                                                            GBP                GBP                GBP
Turnover                                                661,066            297,226            759,896
Other interest receivable                                 7,747              7,206             16,281
                                                        668,813            304,432            776,177
                                                                                                     
Operating expenses                                     (209,701)          (102,587)          (277,618)
                                                                                                     
Net Operating Income                                    459,112            201,845            498,559
                                                                                                     
Administrative expenses                                (404,229)          (245,854)          (810,950)
                                                                                                     
Profit/(loss) before and after tax                       54,883            (44,009)          (312,391)
                                                                                                     
Profit/(loss) per share (pence)                             0.3               (0.3)              (2.0)


Notes

1.      Our Auditors, HW Fisher & Company, have not reviewed these interim accounts

2.      The interim statement has been prepared on the basis that operations are continuing operations
        and on a basis consistent with the accounting policies adopted by the Company as stated in the
        Annual  Report  and  Accounts to 31 December 2007, Page 14 note 1. The  financial  information
        included in this document does not comprise statutory accounts within the meaning of  S240  of
        the Companies Act 1985

3.      No taxation has been provided for the six months ended 30 June 2008

4.      Earnings  per  share  have been calculated on the basis of the profit on  ordinary  activities
        after taxation for the period of GBP54,883, on an average 18,795,565 ordinary shares which had
        been in issue throughout the period

Contact Information

  • St Helens Finance plc