Press Release 26 June 2012
ACM Shipping Group plc
(“ACM” or the “Group”)
ACM Shipping Group plc (AIM:ACMG), a leading international shipbroker, today announces its
unaudited preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2012.
• Revenue of US$42.4 million, in line with market expectations (2011: US$45.7 million);
in sterling £26.6 million (2011: £29.3 million)
• Overall number of fixtures continues to grow despite a challenging shipping market
• Profit before tax and amortisation and impairment of intangibles was £4.3 million for the
year (2011: £6.1 million), in line with market expectations
• Adjusted EPS of 17.7 pence (2011: 24.8 pence) (adjusted for non-cash impacts of
amortisation and impairment of intangible assets)
• Final dividend held at 7 pence per share, which will provide a total dividend of 10.15
pence for the full year (2011: 10.00 pence per share)
• Strong cash position of £3.1 million and no debt
• The Group continues to make good progress implementing its global expansion
• Global dry cargo division making good headway, with US$ revenue increasing by 29%
during the period, now representing 14% of Group revenue
• Key appointments made; particularly in rebuilding the sale and purchase and projects
Commenting on the results, Johnny Plumbe, Chief Executive of ACM Shipping Group plc, said:
“ACM has continued to make good strategic progress during the period, expanding into new
geographies that are important to the Group and building the global teams. Overall, the Group is
in a strong position to capitalise on any future strengthening in the cyclical shipping market, and
in particular our tanker spot business has continued to perform well.
“Although the market at present remains challenging, the Board is confident that ACM has the
right team and structure in place to take the business forward in the future.”
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For further information, please contact:
ACM Shipping Group plc
Johnny Plumbe, Chief Executive Tel: +44 (0) 20 7484 6311
Ian Hartley, Finance Director
Execution Noble & Company Limited
John Llewellyn-Lloyd Tel: +44 (0) 20 7456 9191
Harry Stockdale www.execution-noble.com
Joanne Shears / Oliver Hibberd Tel: +44 (0) 20 7398 7709
Whilst the market is generally weak, it is showing some signs of volatility and ACM’s focus
continues to be on ensuring that the Group is in a strong position to capitalise on an upturn in the
market when it occurs. The ongoing international expansion has continued.
During the period the Group received an approach and an indicative offer from RS Platou LLP.
Options were also examined on the two groups working closely together. However, after
reviewing these options the Board concluded that none of the proposals discussed reflected full
shareholder value or were in the best interests of the Group. Discussions concluded in March
The Board reports that the results are in line with expectations, and although the Group
experienced a fall in revenue from its sale and purchase desk, increases were achieved in dry
cargo and tanker spot brokerage. Profit before tax and amortisation and impairment of
intangibles was £4.3 million for the year (2011: £6.1 million). This solid profit was achieved
despite the challenging markets.
As announced on 6 October 2011, the sale and purchase division was impacted by a number of
personnel departures. As a consequence the Group has made a £7.8 million impairment of
intangible assets (a non-cash item) capitalised in relation to the acquisition of ACM Shipping
Services Limited in 2007. This effect of this is that the group shows a £3.8 million loss before
taxation for the year (2011: profit of £5.3 million).
Earnings per share (“EPS”), adjusted for the non-cash impacts of amortisation and impairment of
intangible assets was down from 24.8 pence to 17.7 pence. Basic loss per share was 23.8 pence
(2011: earnings of 21.7 pence)
The Board remains positive about the future of the business and is pleased to maintain its
dividend policy to reflect this. The final dividend is being held at 7 pence per share (2011: 7
pence per share), which will provide a total dividend of 10.15 pence for the full year (2011: 10.00
pence per share). The dividend remains well covered against the adjusted EPS and it is a key
part of the Group’s strategy to maintain a good yield. The final dividend is payable on 5 October
2012 to shareholders on the register as at close of business on 7 September 2012.
The Group is continuing to successfully execute its strategy to be a globally integrated
shipbroking service provider. With new offices opening overseas and a strong team in place, the
Board believes that the elements are in place for significant future growth.
With the ongoing rebuilding of the sale and purchase team underway and the global offices
working well together, the Group’s strategy is very much on track and the Board believes that
ACM has the right team and structure in place to take the business forward in the future.
ACM’s global structure is working well, with a strong new management structure in place and a
number of key new hires that have added to the team. The successful office move in August
2011 has provided room for further expansion. The Board would like to thank all of the Group’s
employees for their ongoing dedication to ACM.
ACM is in a strong position in the market and, despite the cyclicality of the shipping market, the
Board remains confident of future growth. The Group’s strategy to become a diversified
shipbroking service provider is being successfully executed, and given ACM’s successful
expansion into new areas from the Group’s core business of tanker broking, the Board remains
positive about the prospects for ACM.
26 June 2012
Chief Executive’s Review
ACM’s strategy remains firmly on track and has continued to progress during the period. Whilst
the market remains generally weak in terms of freight rates, ACM itself is in a strong position to
capitalise on the upturn in the market when it occurs. The longer term growth prospects for the
Group remain strong.
Profit before tax and amortisation and impairment of intangibles was £4.3 million (2011: £6.1
million). The Group continues to have a strong cash position with cash balances at the year end
of £3.1 million, a decrease on the previous year due to £1.0 million exceptional capex relating to
the Group’s office move and £1.4 million due to timing differences relating to bonus payments.
The Board is pleased to report that the Group’s overall number of fixtures continues to grow
despite a challenging market.
ACM’s spot brokerage desk, involving the hire of a ship for a single voyage, is the Group’s
principal business. The Group’s tanker spot brokerage desk had a strong year with US$ revenue
showing growth of 7% year-on-year. Rates have generally continued to show weakness
throughout the year, although the Group’s average fixture rate did increase on 2011 levels. The
Small tankers desk had an excellent year and volume grew by 4%.
The global spot brokerage desks continue to work well together.
Whilst the Group’s time charter business, which involves the long-term hire of tankers, is
maintaining a fairly steady volume of ships which it is fixing, lower hire rates are continuing to
hold back revenue in this division. The team is concluding a number of forward time charters,
although these are being fixed at historically low rates and over shorter periods due to market
conditions. As previously stated, the forward order book has reduced and this continues to
impact performance in this division.
The Group has restructured this section of the business and the Board is positive it now has the
right team and structure in place to capitalise on any upturn in the market.
Sale and purchase
The Group has commenced the process of rebuilding the sale and purchase team during the
period, following the personnel departures last year. This has progressed well to date, with the
appointment of Staffan Bulow, Herlof Sorensen and a number of other key brokers in the team to
build this aspect of the business globally. For the period under review, the previous sale and
purchase team had some ongoing business that provided a contribution to these results, without
the full year costs associated with the team at that time. The year to 31 March 2013 will incur the
costs of the new team, and the Board expects that there will be some delay before their full
contribution to the business will come through.
Dry cargo US$ revenue increased by 29% during the period and now represents 14% of Group
revenue. For ACM, volumes are starting to pick up globally. In London, the Far East and
Australia, the dry cargo broking desk is in the right position to take advantage of any future
increase in freight rates. This sector has been particularly affected by low market rates and is
taking longer than originally expected to reach profitability; however the Board is still confident in
the strategy. Having invested in the right structure, the Group’s dry cargo desk is now maturing
and is succeeding in growing its market share.
The Group has also successfully expanded internationally with the commencement of a venture
in Dubai and with a Singapore desk being opened in this division.
Gas / LPG
Having set up a small London-based broking team for gas / LPG shipbroking, this continues to
grow, although it is still in its infancy. The Board believes that this is an interesting area with
considerable growth potential in the future and the Group will continue to develop this area of the
The Board is pleased with the progress made by the Group’s global operations during the period.
The international offices are working well together and, having invested in the right structure and
teams globally, we are now in a position to grow the business. ACM’s international offering is one
of its core strengths, and the Board is pleased with the progress made by the teams whose local
knowledge in key regions are helping to drive the business forward, underpinned by the Group’s
ACM has an established joint venture with GFI Group, Inc. (“GFI”) to conduct derivative
brokerage, although trading volumes have decreased as this sector has been impacted by the
wider market. The joint venture continues to contribute to ACM and financial derivatives are a
valuable addition to the Group’s offering.
The shipping industry has historically been very cyclical with the supply and demand for ships
being out of step. The year to 31 March 2012 has seen freight rates at historically low levels with
some volatility. The average Baltic Exchange indices for the year in most markets was below
those for the previous year.
For the first half of 2012, freight rates have shown some increase and come in stronger than
many expected for VLCC’s, with all other sizes experiencing high levels of volatility. The
International Energy Agency (“IEA”) sees oil demand continue to grow, although growth is slightly
down on its estimates earlier this year at 800,000 barrels per day this year. This growth is similar
to that seen in the 2004 to 2008 period. Global stock building of oil, particularly for China’s
strategic reserves, continues to support seaborne oil trades despite recent evidence of slowing
economic growth. While recent rapid growth of US crude oil production and weak demand poses
a threat to tanker earnings, the resulting rise in Atlantic basin crude moving to Asia is expected to
lengthen voyages for crude carriers. Higher earnings have meant that scrapping of older tonnage
has been limited so far year, but so has the introduction of newbuildings as a result of delivery
delays. The shift of refinery capacity East (closures in Europe/US, new additions in Asia) could
trigger regional product supply shortages, increasing the need for seaborne product imports.
Dry bulk markets have suffered across the size spectrum. The average Baltic Exchange Dry
Index for the year was 39% below the previous year and 67% below the average for the previous
five years. The easing of China’s construction boom has limited its requirement for imported iron
ore and coal, hitting the capesize sector at a time of rapid fleet growth. However, major bulker
owners are finally taking corrective action by scrapping and laying up relatively young (15 year
The LPG and petchem gas tanker market has, by comparison, been in rude health so far this
ACM’s overall strategy remains on track and this has been achieved against the well documented
challenges that the whole sector has faced during the period.
Whilst the Board is mindful that the market is unlikely to materially change in the short term, we
remain confident of the medium and long-term prospects for the Group. Subdued market rates
are likely to constrain growth in the short-term, but having invested in the building of a strong
global team of highly motivated people, we believe that ACM continues to be well positioned to
capitalise on any upturn in the markets.
26 June 2012
Profit and earnings
A fall in revenue from our sale and purchase desk meant overall sterling revenue fell by 9%.
Increases in revenue for dry cargo, tanker spot brokerage and demurrage more than offset a fall
in time charter revenue and the effects of adverse currency movements. Administrative
expenses fell by 4% despite continued expansion and an increase in the number of brokers
Profit before tax and amortisation and impairment of intangibles was £4.3 million for the year
(2011: £6.1 million). Contribution from dry cargo broking was a loss £0.8 million (2011: loss £0.5
million); the increase in the loss arises from the full year effect of new brokers recruited in
2010/11 year. Current market conditions will mean that it will take longer than originally expected
to reach profitability for this division. However, revenue is increasing and the Board is confident
in this division for the medium and longer term.
As a result of personnel departures, the Group has made an impairment of £7.8 million against
intangible assets regarding the sale and purchase department. This department has recently
been strengthened and restructured.
The effective taxation rate having adjusted for the effects of intangible assets was 29.7% (2011:
Loss attributable to equity shareholders was £4.5 million (2011: profit of £4.0 million).
Basic loss per share (“EPS”) was 23.8 pence (2011: earnings of 21.7 pence) with EPS adjusted
for non-cash items of amortisation and impairment of intangible assets down from 24.8 pence to
The bulk of the Group’s income is denominated in US dollars. The average effective exchange
rate for the 2011/2012 year was US$1.60 compared with US$1.56 for the previous year, while the
rate at 31 March 2012 was US$1.60 compared with US$1.60 at 31 March 2011. The overall
effect of the change in exchange rates was to decrease revenue by £0.6 million and profit before
taxation by £0.2 million. At the year end, the Group had forward currency contracts to sell U$7.5
million at an average exchange rate of US$1.57 to £1.
The Directors are recommending a final dividend of 7.0 pence per share in respect of the year
ended 31 March 2012 with a total cost of £1,344,000. Together with an interim dividend of 3.15
pence paid during the year, the total dividend in respect of the year will be 10.15 pence with a
total cost of £1,949,000. The total dividend of 10.15 pence is 1.5% higher than the previous
year’s full dividend of 10.0 pence per share, and is covered 1.7 times by the adjusted earnings
Cash generated from operating activities was £1.6 million (2011: £5.9 million). This inflow
excludes a further £0.9 million (2011: £1.3 million) received from our joint ventures. The cash
balance at the year end was £3.1 million (2010: £5.0 million). The reduction in cash was the
result of exceptional capital expenditure of £1.0 million in relation to the move of our London
offices and £1.4 million in relation to timing differences in relation to bonus payments. The Group
continues to be cash generative after allowing for these items.
The value of net assets at the balance sheet date decreased to £12.0 million (2010: £19.9
million). The total value fell during the year due to the impairment of intangible assets and an
increase in pension liability.
In accordance with IFRS, the Board has reviewed the carrying value of its intangible assets.
Following this review to the Board has made an impairment and the value for intangible assets,
which resulted from acquisitions, fell to £7.7 million (2011: £15.8 million).
The pension deficit for the defined benefit scheme has increased to £1.7 million from £0.3 million.
The increase is primarily due to a change in the assumptions relating to the discount rate. A
deferred tax asset of £0.4 million (2011: £0.1 million) exists as a result of this liability. This
scheme is closed to new members. On the back of a full actuarial valuation as at 31 March 2011
the Group has agreed to continue to make additional contributions of £320,000 per annum to the
Trade and other payables have decreased by approximately £1.3 million. This mainly relates to
the timing of bonus payments.
During the year the Group acquired 49,963 of its own shares through its Employee Share Option
Plan. The cost of shares acquired is shown on the balance sheet within the ESOP reserve which
is shown as a deduction from equity. The plan owned 270,791 shares of the Group as at 31
The Board seeks to identify and monitor risks facing the business.
Foreign exchange risk - the majority of the Group’s income is denominated in US dollars and the
rate of exchange relative to sterling can have an effect on the performance of the Group. The
Group uses foreign exchange instruments to manage this risk. At 31 March 2012, the Group had
forward foreign exchange contracts in place to sell US$7.5 million (2011: US$9.0 million) at an
average rate of US$1.57 (2011: US$1.59) into sterling. The Board has a policy to continually
have some forward cover in place to help manage this risk.
Liquidity risk - at 31 March 2012 the Group did not hold any net debt and has adequate cash
resources to meet its ongoing requirements.
Interest rate risk - the Group has exposure to movements in interest rates in respect of its
deposits. All deposits are made with reputable banks.
26 June 2012
Consolidated income statement (unaudited)
Year ended 31 March 2012
Revenue 2 26,576 29,257
Administrative expenses (23,511) (24,469)
Amortisation of intangible assets (347) (800)
Impairment of intangible assets (7,772) -
Share of operating profit in joint ventures 3 973 1,174
Operating (loss)/profit (4,081) 5,162
Net interest 280 138
(Loss)/profit before taxation (3,801) 5,300
Taxation (1,078) (1,558)
(Loss)/profit for the year (4,879) 3,742
Non-controlling interest 4 333 287
(Loss)/profit attributable to equity
shareholders (4,546) 4,029
All of the activities of the ACM Shipping Group are classed as continuing.
Earnings per share 5
Basic (23.8)p 21.7p
Fully diluted (23.8)p 21.6p
Group statement of comprehensive income (unaudited)
Year ended 31 March 2012
(Loss)/profit for the year (4,546) 4,029
Actuarial (loss)/gain in respect of defined benefit pension (1,976) 1,337
Deferred tax in respect of defined benefit pension scheme 514 (374)
Exchange differences on translation of foreign operations (5) 454
Currency reserve 66 159
Deferred tax on currency reserve (16) (45)
Total comprehensive income attributable to equity
shareholders (5,963) 5, 560
Consolidated balance sheet (unaudited)
As at 31 March 2012
Property, plant and equipment 1,246 450
Intangible assets 7,717 15,805
Investments 1,050 1,050
Deferred tax asset 1,001 373
Trade and other receivables 5,987 5,291
Cash and cash equivalents 3,092 4,955
Total assets 20,093 27,924
Trade and other payables (5,020) (6,321)
Current tax payable (804) (750)
Deferred tax liabilities (570) (649)
Pension liability (1,734) (319)
Total liabilities (8,128) (8,039)
Net assets 11,965 19,885
Capital and reserves
Share capital 196 196
Share premium account 6,823 6,823
ESOP reserve (1,394) (1,289)
Retained earnings 5,548 13,720
Other reserves 1,189 722
Non-controlling interest (397) (287)
Total equity 11,965 19,885
Group cash flow statement (unaudited)
Year ended 31 March 2012
(Loss)/profit before taxation (3,801) 5,300
Depreciation 363 233
Net interest (280) (138)
Share of operating profit in joint ventures (973) (1,174)
Amortisation and impairment of intangibles 8,119 800
Share-based payments 417 267
Operating cash flow before changes in working capital and 3,845 5,288
Increase))/decrease in trade and other receivables (800) 559
(Decrease)/increase in trade and other payables (1,150) 409
Provision for pension scheme costs 158 162
Pension scheme contributions paid (483) (476)
Cash generated from operating activities 1,570 5,942
Taxation paid (1,176) (1,922)
Net cash from operating activities 394 4,020
Cash flows from investing activities
Purchase of property and equipment (1,159) (219)
Acquisition of business - (2,342)
Amounts received from joint ventures 899 1,256
Interest received 44 19
Net cash used in investing activities (216) (1,286)
Cash flows from financing activities
Dividends paid (1,936) (1,851)
Shares acquired for ESOP (105) (264)
Shares acquired by treasury - (1)
Issue of new shares - 71
Net cash used in financing activities (2,041) (2,045)
Net (decrease)/ increase in cash and cash equivalents (1,863) 689
Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the year 4,955 4,266
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year 3,092 4,955
1. Accounting policies
Basis of consolidation
These financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the Companies Act and those EU
endorsed IFRS and IFRIC interpretations issued and effective or issued and early adopted at the time of
preparing these statements (June 2012). They have been prepared under the historical cost convention.
The policies have been consistently applied to all the periods presented.
2. Segmental analysis
The Group operates in one business sector. Internally, revenue streams are reported by function along with
profit analysis between tanker broking and dry cargo broking. Geographical information is not produced
and is not readily available. In view of management, the cost of developing this information would be
Analysis of Group revenue:
Spot brokerage 13,941 13,530
Time charter 5,060 6,560
Demurrage 1,781 1,285
Sale and purchase 2,173 5,140
ry cargo brokin Dry cargo broking 3,621 2,742
Analysis of Group (loss)/profit before taxation and minority interest:
Tanker broking (3,146) 6,150
Dry cargo broking (935) (988)
Interest 280 138
Analysis of Group (loss)/profit before taxation adjusted for amortisation and impairment of intangible
(Loss)/profit before taxation (3,801) 5,300
Add back: Amortisation of intangible assets 347 800
Impairment of intangible assets 7,772 -
Tanker broking 4,814 6,466
Dry cargo broking (776) (504)
Interest 280 138
3. Joint ventures
Share of operating profit of joint ventures 973 1,174
The Group has a 50% interest with GFI Brokers Limited in an unincorporated joint venture, which provides
a market for derivative products within the oil freight business. The Group has a 35% interest with GFI
Brokers Limited in an unincorporated joint venture, which provides a market for derivative products within
the container freight business.
4. Non-controlling interest
Analysis of non-controlling interest before and after taxation;
Before taxation 430 382
Taxation (97) (95)
After taxation 333 287
The Group has 75% investment in ACM Shipping Dry Cargo Limited, a company set up in April 2010 to act
as shipbrokers in the dry cargo market. The investment increased from 60% to 75% on 20 February 2012.
The non-controlling interest represents the share of the income statement allocated to the non-controlling
5. (Loss)/earnings per share
(Loss)/earnings per share (EPS) is calculated by dividing the (loss)/profit attributable to equity shareholders
by the weighted average number of shares in issue in the year.
(Loss)/earnings for the year (4,546) 4,029
Adjust for amortisation of intangibles 347 800
Adjust for impairment of intangible assets 7,772 -
Adjust for deferred taxation impact of impairment and (203) (234)
amortisation of intangibles
Earnings for adjusted EPS 3,370 4,595
Number of shares Number Number
Weighted average number of shares 19,061,341 18,545,836
Dilution effect of share plans 37,525 94,163
Diluted weighted average number of shares 19,098,866 18,639,999
(Loss)/earnings per share (pence)
Basic (23.8) 21.7
Diluted (23.8) 21.6
Adjusted 17.7 24.8
Adjusted diluted 17.6 24.7
The weighted average number of shares excludes those held by Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP)
and those held in treasury.
Declared and paid during the year:
Final dividend for 2011: 7 pence per share (2010: 6.75 pence per
share) 1,331 1,283
Interim dividend for 2012: 3.15 pence per share (2011: 3 pence
per share) 605 568
Proposed for approval at AGM (not recognised as liability at 31
Final dividend for 2012: 7 pence per share (2011: 7 pence per
share) 1,344 1,329
Total payable in respect of the year
10.15 pence 10.0 pence
8. Nature of financial information
The Preliminary Announcement set out above is unaudited. It does not represent statutory accounts for
ACM Shipping Group plc or for any of the entities comprising ACM Shipping Group plc. It is anticipated that
the Annual Report and Accounts of ACM Shipping Group plc in respect of the year ended 31 March 2012
will be finalised, approved by the board of directors and circulated to shareholders of ACM Shipping Group
plc during July 2012. These will be delivered to the Registrars of Companies following the Company’s
Annual General Meeting.
ACM Shipping Group plc
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