HICL's annual profits rise on new investments

HICL Infrastructure Company reported a 50.1 per cent increase in annual pre-tax profit, bolstered by rising secondary market prices and contributions from new investments.

HICL Infrastructure Company reported a 50.1 per cent increase in annual pre-tax profit, bolstered by rising secondary market prices and contributions from new investments.

Profit before tax for the year ended March came to £93.1m, up from £62m the previous year. Earnings per share rose to 10.4p from 9.8p.

The British investment company focused on private finance initiatives said results were driven by new investments, value enhancements to existing investments and inflation exceeding the 2.75% per annum valuation assumption.

During the period the company acquired 21 investments with a combined value of £278m. Four more were acquired after March 31st for £36.1m.

Cash received from the portfolio by way of distributions, capital repayments and fees was £76.8m, compared to the prior year's £51.2m.

Valuation of the portfolio at the end of the period was £1.2bn, a 34% increase from £902m reported a year earlier.

The company was able to meet its long-term target of an annual distribution of 7.0p per share within the seven-year time horizon set at the initial public offering in March 2006.

Net cash inflows, after costs, of £64.3m adequately covered the distributions paid in the year.

Net asset value per share came to 120.0p at the end of the year, up from 116.3p in 2012, driven by increased pricing for secondary market assets, a strong operational performance of the portfolio and new, value-accretive investments.

HICL said it has a healthy pipeline of further attractive investment opportunities under consideration, including five on an exclusive basis worth over £100m.

Based on expectations for current year cashflows, the group is targeting a total dividend of 7.1p per share for fiscal year 2014.

"Given the underlying strong fundamentals of the current portfolio, coupled with the new investment pipeline, we expect the company to be able to provide shareholders with sustainable distributions alongside preservation of capital value," said Chairman, Graham Picken.

RD

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