Half year profits climb at HICL

Investment infrastructure group HICL posted a strong rise in pre-tax profit in the half year ended September 30th, although earnings per share slipped 0.1p to 4.9p.

Investment infrastructure group HICL posted a strong rise in pre-tax profit in the half year ended September 30th, although earnings per share slipped 0.1p to 4.9p.

Revenue profits before tax climbed from £15.7m to £22.0m, capital profit before tax increased from £15.0m to £20.2m, giving a total profit for the year of £42.2m, compared to £30.7m the same period the previous year.

The net asset value (NAV) per share rose 1.4p to 114.2p since the end of March. Over the same period, the value of the portfolio at September 30th climbed 12.6% to £1,015.9m, compared to £902.0m.

Graham Picken, Chairman of the board, said: "I am pleased to report good progress by the company in the period to September 30th 2012. Following the conversion of the C shares issued in March 2012, we repaid all of the group's outstanding debt and we remained ungeared at the period end. We invested the balance of C Share proceeds in acquiring new projects as well as additional stakes in projects where the group is already a significant shareholder.

"The period has seen continued emphasis on asset management as we work pro-actively with clients and suppliers to drive efficiency savings and to fulfil any new requirements or variations cost effectively and on time.

"With a healthy pipeline in both the UK and overseas, together with a number of opportunities at an advanced stage, the company is now in a position to issue new shares by way of tap issuance. This will enable us to respond to the strong investor interest in the company."

The company increased the interim dividend payment from 3.35p to 3.425p per share, and said it remains committed to the target distribution of 7.0p per share for the year ending March 31st 2013.

The share price fell 2.56% to 121.90p by 13:21.

NR

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